UP student slapping case: SC summons principal secretary, education
Court also directs Tata Institute of Social Studies to suggest child welfare experts to offer professional counselling at the victim's residence
The Supreme Court on Friday summoned Uttar Pradesh's principal secretary, education, in relation to the viral video in which a school teacher was seen instructing students to slap a Muslim fellow classmate.
A bench of justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal said the state had government failed to arrange proper counselling services for the victim and other children involved in the incident.
"We find that the State of Uttar Pradesh and in particular the Education Dept has not complied with various orders passed by the court from time to time ….. To say the least, the approach of the state, as can be seen in the affidavit, is shocking," the court said.
The top court also directed the Tata Institute of Social Studies (TISS) to suggest child welfare experts who could offer professional counselling at the victim's residence in Muzaffarnagar.
It said the principal secretary concerned of the Uttar Pradesh government will ensure compliance with the previous orders passed by the apex court and will remain present virtually through video-conferencing on 11 December, the next date of listing.
On 6 November, the Supreme Court had ordered that a senior government official should speak to the principal of the school in which the affected child's father was keen to get him admitted.
At an earlier hearing, it had verbally remarked that the incident should "shock the conscience of the state” if the viral video was found to be genuine.
The apex court had ordered the state government to depute a senior IPS official to conduct a probe into the allegations contained in the FIR. "There cannot be any quality education if a student is sought to be penalised only on the ground that he belongs to a particular community," it had remarked.
In August, a video went viral from Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar where young students were seen slapping an eight-year-old classmate at the behest of the teacher at a private school, who referred to his faith in a derogatory manner.
A PIL filed in the Supreme Court sought directions for a time-bound and independent investigation into the incident and setting up of guidelines for preventing violence against students belonging to religious minorities in schools.