'The approach of state is shocking….': Supreme Court to UP government in row over slapping of Muslim boy in classroom

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By ETV Bharat English Team

Published : Nov 10, 2023, 7:32 PM IST

‘The approach of state is shocking….’, SC to UP govt in row over slapping of Muslim boy in classroom

The bench appointed the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, to suggest the mode and manner of counselling for the child and his classmates. The bench also asked TISS to suggest the names of expert child counsellors available in the state, who can extend counselling under its supervision.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday pulled up the Uttar Pradesh government for not complying with its order to depute a counselling agency for the Muslim boy and his classmates, who were allegedly instructed by their school teacher to slap him for not completing his homework, in the Muzaffarnagar district.

A bench comprising Justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal said that the state government did not comply with the court's order. The bench appointed the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, to suggest the mode and manner of counselling for the child and his classmates. The bench also asked TISS to suggest the names of expert child counsellors available in the state, who can extend counselling under its supervision.

It also directed the principal secretary of the school education department to remain present virtually during the next hearing to avoid any strong action by the court.

The apex court said, “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”.

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The bench, in its order, said to say the least, the approach of the state government as seen from the affidavits filed regarding providing counselling to the children is shocking. Scheduling the matter for further hearing on December 11, the top court directed the Uttar Pradesh government to provide all infrastructural assistance and support to TISS and ordered it to submit a report before the next date of hearing.

Earlier, the top court had asked Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj to take instructions on the availability of an expert agency like the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) and TISS, in connection with the counselling of the child and the other children involved in the incident.

On November 6, the Supreme Court had asked the Uttar Pradesh government to facilitate the admission of a student, who was allegedly slapped by his classmates allegedly at the behest of a teacher at a private school in Muzaffarnagar district, to a private school there.

The top court was hearing a plea moved by Tushar Gandhi, great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, who was represented by advocate Shadan Farasat. 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.

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