New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday came down heavily on the Uttar Pradesh government for its lackadaisical attitude for not providing counselling to the Muslim student who was slapped by classmates on the instruction of a teacher in Muzaffarnagar for not doing his homework.
A bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan observed that there has been a complete breach of its directions by the Uttar Pradesh government.Irked with the State government for non-compliance of its direction, the apex court noted that its directions to provide counselling to all the children who were made perpetrators of the offence has not been complied with.
"See the State's affidavit. There has been a complete breach of our directions. None of the kids have been given counselling. We had even given names of organisations. This has to be done in letter and spirit," said the bench.
It directed the counsel appearing for the government to counsel the children who witnessed the incident and file a compliance affidavit in two weeks.
"We have perused the latest TISS report which calls for counselling of all the students who had taken part in corporal punishment as participants and witnesses. Nothing has been done by the State, it is too late in the day. We direct the State to immediately implement the directions, especially for the witness children," the bench stated in its order.
It asked the State government to file an affidavit by February 28 and posted the matter for hearing on March 1.
Earlier, while noting that no counselling had been conducted for any of the children involved in the incident, it had asked Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai to suggest the mode and manner of counselling.
The apex court was hearing a plea filed by Tushar Gandhi, the great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, seeking a speedy investigation in the case.
A case was registered against a teacher in Muzaffarnagar who allegedly encouraged her students to slap a classmate. The purported video of the incident created an outrage on social media.
The teacher, Tripta Tyagi, was booked after a video showed her asking her students to slap the Class 2 boy in Khubbapur village and also making a communal remark.
The teacher was accused of making communal comments and ordering her students to slap a Muslim classmate for not doing his homework. The State Education Department had also served notice to the private school.
The FIR was registered against the school teacher under Section 323 (punishment for causing voluntarily hurt), and Section 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC).
The petition sought direction for a time-bound and independent investigation by the Police, and prescription of preventive and remedial measures within the school systems in relation to violence against children, including those belonging to religious minorities.