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Muslim Boy Slapping Row: SC Slams UP Govt For Not Counselling Victim's Classmates

Observing that there has been a complete breach of its directions by the Uttar Pradesh government, a bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan directed the state to counsel the children who witnessed the incident and file a compliance affidavit in two weeks.

SC slams UP Govt for not counselling students who were instructed to slap a Muslim boy
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The Supreme Court slammed the Uttar Pradesh government on Friday for not counselling students who were allegedly instructed by their school teacher to slap a Muslim boy for not doing his homework.

Observing that there has been a complete breach of its directions by the Uttar Pradesh government, a bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan directed the state 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 the counselling of all the students who had taken part in the corporal punishment as participants and witnesses. Nothing has been done by the state, it is too late in the day now. "We direct the state to immediately implement the directions, especially for the witness children. Compliance affidavit to be filed in two weeks," the bench said while posting the matter for hearing on March 1.

Additional Advocate General of Uttar Pradesh Garima Prashad said two organisations have volunteered for counselling the students and sought time to file a more detailed affidavit.

The court had earlier castigated the state government 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 doing his homework.

The woman teacher of the school in Muzaffarnagar district has also been accused of hurling communal slurs at the victim boy. The top court had appointed the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai to suggest the mode and manner of counselling the boy and his classmates.

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 purportedly showed her asking the students to slap the Class-2 boy in Khubbapur village and also making a communal remark. The apex court had, on November 6 last year, 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 last year, the court had directed the state government to immediately decide on granting sanction to prosecute the teacher.

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

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