The Gujarat High Court has taken suo motu cognisance of a newspaper report highlighting two distressing incidents at the Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) in Gandhinagar. The incidents involve the harassment of a male student due to his sexual orientation and the alleged rape of a female student by a batchmate.
The division bench of Justices AS Supehia and MR Mengdey expressed grave concern over the report, citing its potential impact on the psychological and physical well-being of students. In response, the court issued a notice to the university registrar and head of academic affairs.
The court observed that the report revealed the existence of a defunct internal complaint committee (ICC) at the university and indicated that no action had been taken by the administration due to the absence of a formal complaint. The court disagreed with this approach, emphasizing the importance of addressing such issues promptly.
As part of its directives, the court ordered the university to identify the students involved and record their statements while maintaining strict confidentiality. The statement of the female student must be recorded by a female member or professor of the university. If the allegations are found to be credible and trustworthy, the court instructed the university to take immediate action as allowed by law.
The court also requested information on the norms, standard procedures, or regulations employed by the university for addressing issues of harassment or ragging.
The incidents, as reported in a newspaper article dated September 22, pertain to the suffering of two GNLU students—one subjected to mental trauma due to harassment based on their sexual orientation and the other alleging rape by a fellow batchmate.
The court's suo motu cognisance of the report underscores the seriousness of the matter, with a focus on safeguarding the well-being of students.