Muslim Boy Slapping Row: SC Slams UP Over Non-Compliance of Order

The Supreme Court castigated the Uttar Pradesh government on Friday for not complying with its order to depute an agency for counselling the Muslim boy and his classmates who were allegedly instructed by their school teacher to slap him for not completing his homework.

The woman teacher of a school in Muzaffarnagar district has also been accused of making communal slur on the victim boy.

Observing that there was “total non-compliance” with its order by the state government, a bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal directed the principal secretary of the state’s school education department to remain present virtually during the next hearing to avoid any strong action by the court.

The top court appointed the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai to suggest the mode and manner of counselling of the child and his classmates involved in the incident.

“After having heard the counsel for the parties, we are of the view that the Uttar Pradesh government, and in particular the education department, has not complied with various orders passed by this court from time to time. There is no proper counselling conducted for the victim child and the other children involved in the incident.

“To say the least, the approach of the state government as seen from the affidavits filed regarding providing counselling to the children is shocking. We therefore appoint Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai to suggest the mode and manner of extending counselling to the child and other children. TISS will also suggest the names of expert child counsellors available in the state who can extend counselling under the supervision of TISS,” the bench ordered.

The apex court directed the UP government to provide all infrastructural assistance and support to TISS, and ordered it to submit a report before December 11, the next date of hearing.

“We direct the Principal Secretary of Education Department to remain personally present to avoid any strong action by the court. We hope he will personally look into the matter and see that directions are complied with,” the bench said.

The Muzaffarnagar Police had registered a case against the teacher for allegedly making communal remarks against the Muslim boy and instructing his classmates to slap him. The school was also served a notice by the state’s education department.

The teacher was booked after a video showed her purportedly asking students to slap the Class 2 boy in Khubbapur village and also making a communal remark.

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The top court had on November 6 asked the Uttar Pradesh government to facilitate the admission of the boy to a private school.

It was hearing a plea filed by Tushar Gandhi, the great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, seeking speedy investigation in the case.

On October 30, the top court had directed the Uttar Pradesh government to immediately decide on granting sanction to prosecute the school teacher.

The top court had referred to the assertions made in the affidavit filed by the victim’s father that the child was “severely traumatised” and asked Additional Solicitor General K M Nataraj to take instructions on the availability of an expert agency like NIMHANS and TISS, which could go to the victim’s village and counsel him and other school children.

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