Rasmita suicide: NHRC seeks reply from Odisha govt

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Bhubaneswar: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today issued a show cause notice to the Odisha government asking it to respond within six weeks as to why it should not recommend payment of rupees three lakh as monetary relief to the next of kin of a Class X student, who committed suicide when she was erroneously shown to have failed in the annual High School Certificate (HSC) examination in 2014.

In the show cause notice issued to the state chief secretary, Justice D Murugesan, member of the Commission, has set aside the contention of the state government that the student committed suicide after she was shown to have failed when she had actually passed the examination. He observed that the as the victim committed suicide on account of negligence of the officials of the Board of Secondary Education (BSE), which had issued a wrong result only to be corrected subsequently, the state government is vicariously liable.

The Commission took cognizance of the matter on the basis of a complaint that Rasmita Sahu, daughter of Bhimsen Sahu of Bhaliabadi village under Khurda Town police station, could not tolerate the trauma of failing her annual HSC examination and committed suicide on May 1, 2014. However, in the revised result, released the next day, she was shown as passed.

Pursuant to the directions of the Commission, the state government had admitted that the result, published on April 30, 2014, was corrected on May 2, 2014, as there was certain anomaly in the result of Third Language (Sanskrit/Hindi) for some students. It also said that publication of result by the Board is a provisional one, subject to modification and revision.

The report further said that the first result published by the Board cannot be linked to the death of the student as she scored below average marks in her school examinations and might have been apprehensive of failing in the examination.

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