The Supreme Court on Thursday named a PIL seeking for guidance to the Center and IITs to make and execute a student wellbeing system to control the rising number of suicides in grounds, as “frivolous” and charged a fine of Rs 10,000 on the lawyer for filing it. The Supreme Court said the government was alive to the circumstance and excused the PIL filed by legal counselor Gaurav Bansal on the issue of suicides in IITs nationwide.
“This is an utterly frivolous petition. Tell us how much of the cost we should impose on you,” a bench headed by Justice R F Nariman said in the hearing being conducted through video conferencing.
“We are dismissing it with Rs 10,000 as cost payable to the legal services authority,” said the bench which additionally included Judges Navin Sinha and Indira Banerjee.
Mr Bansal, during the short hearing, said that around 50 students have committed suicides in IITs across India in the last five years and asked the court to intercede and coordinate the Union Education Ministry and IITs to detail and execute a ‘Student Wellness Program’.
The lawyer said a board of committee members headed by the IIT, Kanpur was made to investigate the reason for suicides by the students, however there was no improvement in the circumstance. Alluding to the answer of the Center, the court saw that authorities were mindful of this issue.
The plea had looked for guidance to 13 IITs to “forthwith plan, design, formulate and effectively implement student health wellness programs focusing on prevention and reduction of suicides within their Institutions as provided under Section 29 and section 115 of the Mental Healthcare Act,2017”. Issues bearing to IITs for granting help as well as consultation to people with suicidal tendencies through call centers or helplines at institutional level, it had said.