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SC Dismisses & Imposes Costs In Plea Seeking Student Wellness Program For IIT's In Light Of Rising Suicides

Sanya Talwar
24 Sep 2020 3:43 PM GMT
SC Dismisses & Imposes Costs In Plea Seeking Student Wellness Program For IITs In Light Of Rising Suicides
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The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a plea seeking directions to the Centre and Indian Institutes of Technology in the country to implement a "student well program".

A bench of Justices RF Nariman, Navin Sinha and Indira Banerjee dismissed the plea, calling it a frivolous Public Interest Litigation.

The top court said the government was aware of the situation and dismissed the plea filed by Advocate Gaurav Bansal, which highlighted rising suicides in IITs by students across the country.

Bench: "This is an utterly frivolous petition. Tell us how much cost we should impose on you?" "We are dismissing it with Rs 10,000 as cost payable to the legal services authority," 

Bansal, during the brief hearing, said that around 50 students have died by suicides in IITs across India in the half decade and requested the court to intervene and direct the Union Education Ministry and IITs to formulate and implement a 'Student Wellness Program'.

In light of this, the lawyer pointed out that a committee headed by the IIT at Kanpur had been formed to look into the cause of suicide by students, but there was no improvement in the rising levels of suicides.

Referring to the reply of the Centre, the court observed that authorities were alive and aware of the issue.

The plea had sought a direction to 13 IITs to "forthwith plan, design, formulate and effectively implement student health wellness programme focusing on prevention and reduction of suicides within their Institutions as provided under Section 29 and section 115 of the Mental Healthcare Act,2017".

Apropos this, the petition had sought issuance of directions to IITs, for providing aid, support and advice to persons with suicidal thoughts through call centres or helplines at institute level.

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