It is not quality education if a student is punished based on religion: Supreme Court expresses displeasure

The Supreme Court on Monday (September 25) expressed displeasure with the way the Uttar Pradesh Police acted in connection with the case of slapping a student of Muzaffar Nagar School in Uttar Pradesh.

A bench comprising Justices Abhay S Oka and Justice Pankaj Mithal, which raised questions over the delay in registration of the FIR and the dropping of communal charges, directed an investigation into the case by a senior IPS-rank police officer.

The court observed that “there is a prima facie failure on the part of the State” to comply with the mandate of the Right to Education Act, which prohibits physical and mental harassment of students and discrimination based on religion and caste.

Justice Abhay S Oka said the allegations, if true, would shock the conscience of the state. This is a very serious matter. Teachers are telling students to hit their classmates because they belong to a particular community! Is it quality education? The justices asked that the state should take responsibility for the child’s education. If the allegations are true, it shocks the conscience,” he said.

The Supreme Court adjourned the case to October 30 and directed the Uttar Pradesh government to take responsibility for the education of the victim’s child.

In a video that went viral last month, teacher Tyagi can be heard directing students to slap a Muslim boy one by one. After slapping the child, the child is heard making abusive remarks about the boy.

Following the incident, an FIR was registered on August 26 against teacher Tyagi under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including Section 323 (involuntary infliction of hurt) and Section 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke disturbance of peace).

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