The Supreme Court on Monday took suo motu cognisance of a letter written by a friend of Amity law student Sushant Rohilla, who committed suicide, saying it would examine whether there was an “element of suspicion” that the incident took place due to “harassment”.
A bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice D Y Chandrachud also appointed senior advocate and jurist F S Nariman as an amicus curiae to assist it in the alleged suicide case and said it may consider laying down some guidelines.
“We would examine as to whether there was an element of suspicion about whether it (the suicide) was due to harassment,” the bench said. The court did not issue notice to Amity Law School, which is affiliated to the Guru Govind Singh Indraprastha University.
It, however, asked senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, who appeared for the institute, to file a response to the PIL which was instituted after taking note of the letter written to the CJI by one Raghav Sharma, a close friend of the deceased and a 4th year law student. It has been claimed that 20-year old Rohilla, who could not attend classes for quite some time due reasons including his physical health, was depressed over the prospect of not being allowed to take the examination by the college because of lack of attendance.
The letter has blamed the Amity authorities for Rohilla’s suicide on August 10 at his residence. Alleging harassment by his teachers, his classmates had taken to the social media and launched protests on campus after his death to demand action against his professors, two of whom have resigned.
The letter to the CJI has sought that the apex court should take congnisance of the incident and order probe by an independent committee into such matters.
It also referred to the letter written by the student before taking the extreme step that he “might not mentally survive” the debarment. The college said the student had 43 per cent attendance, whereas the attendance requirement of the University was 75 per cent.