A TN judge comes up with unique penalty for brawling student

Thirukkural Image credit: youtube

A judge in Usilampatti, in Madurai district, has made news by meting out a most unlikely punishment to a student arrested for unruly behavior.

P Shenbagamoorthy, a 19-year-old student at a polytechnic in Uthapanaickanur, was arrested last week after he got into a brawl with a group of students at the Usilampatti bus stand. When Shenbagamoorthy’s bail plea came up for hearing in the judicial magistrate’s court, Justice K Vivekanandan granted the young man bail and set an unusual condition.

While, in the normal course, he would have had to go to the police station and sign the register, the Judge asked him to learn ten particular chapters from the ‘Thirukkural’, the famed Tamil literary work by the Saint-Poet Thiruvalluvar which lays down guidelines for good conduct in various realms.

Shenbagamoorthy now has to memorize 100 couplets, ten under each chapter. The chapters assigned for his study deal with ‘controlling anger’, ‘fear of doing evil’, ‘one’s duty to society’, ‘patience’, ‘avoiding bad company’ etc. Besides learning the couplets, the student has also been asked to write explanations for each of them. He will have to submit the assignment to the Judge when he appears before him early next month.

This novel bail condition has received praise in and around Madurai, with legal circles saying it’ll go a long way in reforming the errant student. “This is a very socially progressive bail condition. Reading even a few couplets from the ‘Thirukkural’ is bound to have a positive impact on the young person,” said one lawyer.

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