The Supreme Court on September 25 while observing the incident where a teacher at a school in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar instructed her students to slap a classmate, "targeted one community" and that the state must take responsibility for the incident.
A bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal while hearing a petition made the verbal observation, raising concerns over the incident of schoolkids taking turns to strike a crying Muslim student on instructions of their teacher. The video of the incident went viral last month and sparked widespread outrage, following which an FIR was lodged against the teacher.
While hearing the plea on Monday, the bench said it had "serious objections" to the way the Uttar Pradesh Police handled the matter.
Terming the incident as of serious gravity, the Court observed, "The teacher is targeting one community. We will go deep into this. Is this the way teachers teach students - is this quality education? State must take responsibility for this incident... Has the school appointed some counselor for the child? If this incident has happened, then it should shake the conscience of the state. It's a serious issue".
It also highlighted that, on the surface, it appeared to be a case of the Uttar Pradesh government failing to comply with the rules of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, which forbids physical and mental harassment of students, as well as discrimination based on religion and caste.
"There cannot be any quality education if a student is sought to be penalised only on the grounds that he belongs to a particular community," it stated.
The court directed the state government to engage an expert child counsellor and provide counselling to the victim in order for him to recover from his trauma.
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