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'Serious Issue': SC Raises Concerns Over Probe of Muzaffarnagar School Incident

The apex court pointed out that the transcript of the video was missing in the FIR.

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Law
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'Serious Issue': SC Raises Concerns Over Probe of Muzaffarnagar School Incident
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The Supreme Court noted lapses in the Uttar Pradesh Police's probe of the Muzaffarnagar school slapping incident.

In particular: The apex court on Monday, 25 September, questioned the UP Police about the delay in the registration of the First Information Report (FIR) and missing allegations of communal hatred in the registered FIR, according to a report by LiveLaw.

  • The matter was being heard by a bench comprising Justice Abhay S Oka and Justice Pankaj Mithal.

  • Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj appeared for the State of Uttar Pradesh.

  • Advocate Shadan Farasat appeared for the petitioner who is social activist Tushar Gandhi, the great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.

The delay: An FIR related to cognizable offences was not registered even though the student's father had filed a complaint, the Supreme Court noted. This was done only "after a long delay" on 6 September, as per the report.

Missing allegations: "In the first complaint by the father, he has alleged that teacher is making objectionable comments against a particular religion. In the so-called non-cognizable report, same allegations are there. In the FIR, these allegations are not there," Justice Oka said.

Why it matters: "This is a very serious issue. Teacher telling students to hit a classmate because they belong to a particular community! Is this quality education? State must take responsibility of the education of the child. If the allegations are true, this should shock the conscience of the state," Justice Oka was quoted as saying by LiveLaw.

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In a nutshell: In a purported video, Tripta Tyagi, a teacher from Neha Public school in UP's Muzaffarnagar, was seen allegedly telling other students to slap a seven-year-old Muslim student.

  • The incident which took place on 24 August, sparked outrage on social media.

  • The teacher in the purported video was booked by the UP Police under Sections 323 (causing hurt) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) of the Indian Penal Code.

Order, order: After hearing arguments, the two-judge bench reportedly directed that the case be investigated by a senior IPS-ranked police officer.

  • The State has been further directed to provide counselling to the victim as well as the students who were asked by their teacher to slap him.

  • The apex court also directed the Muzaffarnagar police superintendent to provide an update on the probe and mention what steps have been taken to protect the victim.

Next, the matter will be heard by the Supreme Court on 30 October.

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