Student slap case: SC expresses displeasure at UP government over non-filing of response by Education Department
New Delhi, Oct 30 : The Supreme Court on Monday expressed its displeasure over the non-filing of response by the Uttar Pradesh Education Department in relation to the viral incident where a school teacher was seen instructing students to slap a fellow classmate from a particular community.
A bench of Justices Abhay S. Oka and Pankaj Mithal said that an expert agency in child welfare should visit the victim's residence in Muzaffarnagar for offering professional counselling after it was told the child is not coming forward to the counselling centre.
"The child is so traumatised. You expect him to come to the counselling centre?" it said, asking Additional Solicitor General K.M. Nataraj to seek instructions on appointment of experts from specialised institutions like Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) or the Tata Institute of Social Studies (TISS) for providing counselling to victims and other children at their residences.
During the hearing, ASG Natraj placed on record the report filed by the Inspector General of Police of Meerut range, adding that that investigation is over in the incident. He said that charges under Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and Section 295A (outraging religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the IPC have also been added in the police report.
The apex court ordered the state government to accord sanction for prosecution under Section 295A IPC expeditiously and listed the matter for further hearing on November 6.
In an earlier hearing, it had orally remarked that the incident should "shock the conscience of the state' if the viral video is found to be true. The Supreme 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.
A video went viral from Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar where fellow students were seen slapping a 7-year-old at the behest of the teacher of a private school who referred to his faith in a derogatory manner. The PIL filed in the Supreme Court sought directions for a time-bound and independent investigation in the incident and setting up of guidelines for preventing violence against students belonging to religious minorities in schools.