SC dismisses PIL, with cost, on prevention of suicides in IITs

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed with cost a PIL on prevention of suicides in the various Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) across the country.

A Bench headed by Justice Rohinton F Nariman dismissed the plea terming it “utterly frivolous” and imposed a cost of Rs 10,000.

The Bench said authorities, as evident from the petition, are alive to the situation. “The PIL is utterly frivolous and dismissed with cost of Rs 10,000,” it ordered.

The PIL filed by advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal has said that there was an increasing number of suicides in IITs and sought the implementation of Section 29 of the Mental Healthcare Act.

As per Section 29, Section 30 and Section 115 of Mental Healthcare Act, 2017, it is the fundamental duty of government and IITs to probe the cause of the rise of suicides in IITs campus and to plan, formulate and implement student health wellness programs in such a manner that the same shall reduce and prevent the suicide cases within their jurisdiction, the plea said.

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During the hearing, Bansal submitted that in the last five years, about 50 students have died by suicide.

The plea sought the court’s intervention and sought a direction to direct the Centre, AIIMS and IITs to formulate and implement the “students wellness program”.

“Formulate and effectively implement student health wellness program focusing on prevention and reduction of suicides within their institutions as provided under Section 29 and Section 115 of the Mental Healthcare Act – 2017. Direct government, AIIMS, and IITs for providing aid, support, and advice to persons with suicidal thoughts through Call Centers / Helplines at Institute level,” the plea said.

The data gathered by the petitioner through RTI and through other means clearly shows that respondents have failed to consider the issue of rising in suicides in IITs and AIIMS-Delhi through health prospects, it added. 

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