Muzaffarnagar slapgate: Charge under JJ Act invoked against accused teacher

A video of the slapping incident had gone viral last month

Tripta Tyagi Tripta Tyagi

The case lodged against Tripta Tyagi, a teacher who allegedly encouraged students to slap a Muslim classmate for not being able to recite tables, is being investigated under more serious sections. The initial non cognisable report (NCR) was filed under Sections 323 and 504 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). A NCR does not allow for arrest of a person without a warrant.

The incident took place on August 24, but was brought to light only two days later after a video went viral on social media platforms.

A Lucknow based, public spirited lawyer, Syed Mohammed Haider Rizvi, had written to the Senior Superintendent of Police of the district, that sections 114, 153A, 295A, 298, 323, 504, and 506 of the IPC were applicable in the case as was Section 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act (JJA) which provides for punishment, of any person having control of child who assaults, abandons, abuses or wilfully neglects the child. The punishment for the last is imprisonment of not less than three years which can go upto a maximum of 10 years and a fine of Rs 5 lakh.

The IPC sections, mentioned by Rizvi, deal with respectively the presence of an abettor when an act is committed; causing enmity between different groups; deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs; deliberate intention of hurting religious feelings and intentionally insulting, and thereby giving to break public peace.

On Wednesday, Rizvi, received a response that the investigation into the matter was being conducted under Sections 323 and 504 of the IPC in addition to the Section 75 of the JJ Act.

Also, that the NCR had been converted into an FIR which the police is now capable of investigating. In NCR a magistrate’s go ahead is required. An FIR removes the restrictions that a NCR places on the investigating police officer.

Rizvi said that he was hopeful that the other sections indicated by him would also be added to the report. “This is also a case of hate speech where the Supreme Court has directed states to register FIRs even in the absence of a complaint”, he said.

If proven, Section 504 can lead to an imprisonment extending to a maximum of two years while 323 calls for a maximum sentence of a year. Both come with/or a fine.

In the viral video, Tyagi is heard saying that she has declared that such Muslim mothers who go out cause ‘satyanash’ to their children’s studies. The word translates into annihilation.

In her defence, she had later claimed that since she was unable to get up and walk with ease, she had asked the boy’s classmates to slap him. This, she said, had been done on the insistence of the boy’s father who had asked that his child be dealt with strictly as regards his studies.

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