The Supreme Court on Friday said that it was shocking that the Uttar Pradesh government did not comply with its direction of providing counselling to the Muslim boy and his classmates who were instructed by their teacher in Muzaffarnagar district to slap him, reported PTI.

On August 24, Tripta Tyagi, the teacher and owner of Neha Public School in Khubapur village, had told the seven-year-old child’s classmates to hit him after he had failed to complete his homework.

“Why are you hitting him so lightly?” the teacher can be heard asking one child in a video of the incident as the Muslim boy stands crying. “Hit him harder.”

She tells another student: “Hit him on the back.”

The teacher has been subsequently booked by the police. However, the charges in the first information report are non-cognisable, meaning that the police cannot arrest the accused person without a warrant. The police also need permission from a court to start an investigation.

The court is hearing a public interest litigation filed by Tushar Gandhi, the great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, seeking a speedy investigation into the case.

On September 25, a division bench of Justices AS Oka and Pankaj Mithal had directed the state to provide counselling facilities to both the Muslim student and his classmates. It had also asked the Bharatiya Janata Party government to shift the boy to a different school.

However, on Friday, advocate Shadan Farasat, appearing for Gandhi, told the court that the state government has adopted a casual approach towards the order, reported the Hindustan Times.

“To say the least, the approach of the state as regards the counselling facility to the victim and the other children involved in the incident is shocking,” the bench said on Friday reported PTI. “We therefore appoint Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, to suggest the mode and manner of extending counselling to the child and other children.”

The court said that the Tata Institute of Social Sciences will also suggest names of child counsellors available in Uttar Pradesh who can extend counselling services. The state government has been directed to provide all infrastructural assistance and support to the institute and submit a report before December 11.

The bench also directed the principal secretary of the state school education department to attend the next hearing to avoid any strong action by the court, reported PTI. Besides counselling, the Supreme Court asked the state government to admit the child to a new school, reported the Hindustan Times.