The Gujarat government on Tuesday told the High Court it is ready to notify regulations framed by top education sector watchdogs to curb the menace of ragging in higher institutions of learning and fix accountability on the latter’s’ officers in case of any violation.
A division bench of Chief Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Aniruddha Mayee was told by the state that the University Grants Commission (UGC), Medical Council of India (MCI) — now replaced by National Medical Commission — and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) have framed “exhaustive regulations” to curb the menace of ragging in higher educational institutions.
The HC was hearing a suo motu (on its own) PIL related to ragging in educational institutes in Gujarat after such an incident was reported in BJ Medical College in Ahmedabad last year.
The court took on record copies of regulations framed by the UGC, MCI (now NMC) and AICTE provided by Advocate General Kamal Trivedi.
“It is submitted by the learned advocate general appearing for state respondent that the state is ready to notify these regulations to all higher educational institutions across Gujarat for strict observance by issuance of (a) Government regulation (GR), imposing accountability on the officers of the institutions in case of any violation,” the court said in its order.
The bench on Tuesday also took up for hearing a case regarding alleged incidents of harassment of a queer student and rape of a female student by her batchmate at Gandhinagar-based Gujarat National Law University (GNLU).
The HC directed GNLU to disclose in an affidavit measures taken to ensure complaints by students reach before the internal complaints committee (ICC) “without any manual intervention or any kind of possibility of external pressure,” keeping in mind that perpetrator may also be a part of the institution.
The incidents, reported in a newspaper on September 22, 2023 relate to the ordeal faced by the two students of GNLU.
A student has “suffered mental trauma due to the harassment meted out to him only for the reason of him being a queer, and a female student has levelled allegation of rape by a batchmate,” the court had said while taking up the suo motu plea more than four months ago.
The news report had also said the university’s ICC was not in place and referred to the response of GNLU spokesperson about non-receipt of formal complaints from the students.
Following the court’s direction, the institute had set up an ICC.