NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has reproached 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 Muzaffarnagar district.
A bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal appointed the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, to suggest the mode and manner of counselling of 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 personally present virtually on the next hearing to avoid any strong action by the court.
"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," the bench 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," the bench added.
The court directed the UP government to provide all infrastructural assistance and support to TISS, and ordered it to submit a report before the next date of hearing, i e, on December 11.
The bench had told Additional Solicitor General K M Nataraj, appearing for the UP government, to take instructions on the availability of an expert agency like NIMHANS and TISS, in connection with the counselling of the child and the other children involved in the incident.
Hearing a plea by Tushar Gandhi, great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, the court had on November 6 asked the Uttar Pradesh government to facilitate the admission of the student, to a private school there.The police had on September 6 2023 lodged the FIR alleging commission of offences under Section 75 of Juvenile Justice Act 2015, and Sections 323 and 503 of IPC.
Gandhi sought independent and time bound probe into the "disturbing video" of August 24, 2023, purportedly showing the boy of being slapped by fellow students in Neha Public School in Muzaffarnagar village at instructions of their teacher/ principal, Tripta Tyagi because he got his multiplication tables wrong.
The plea said the 7-year-old boy complained that he felt disturbed and was unable to sleep following the incident.