HC Finds No Concrete Proof Of Harassment At GNLU

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HC Finds No Concrete Proof Of Harassment At GNLU

| Updated: April 30, 2024 12:55

Students had alledged rape, harassment of queer student in social media posts

The Gujarat High Court revealed on Monday that the fact-finding committee has not found direct evidence of harassment against any one in the Gujarat National Law University (GNLU). 

This led the court to state that the university cannot file an FIR, when amicus curiae in the case insisted on criminal investigation in the matter.

The suo motu proceeding is on the basis of news reports on the students’ posts on Instagram about allegations of rape and harassment of a queer student in GNLU. The committee highlighted various incidents. However, no victim has come forward to complain.

Amicus curiae Krina Calla suggested registration of an FIR on the basis of the fact-finding committee’s report. The bench of Chief Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Aniruddha Mayee said the university cannot do anything unless it gets concrete evidence about the incident.  

Victim evidence lacking  

At this juncture, advocate-general Kamal Trivedi rose and read from the report, “None of the victims have come forward with the grievances before the committee and there is no direct evidence against anyone in the matter of the alleged incident as reported in the newspaper or any other incident on Instagram.” 

He said the committee was not in a position to give any factual findings with regard to the incidents. However, in the opinion of the committee, the occurrence of such incidents seems to be possible.

The judges made it clear that the court was concerned and therefore the findings of the committee were placed before the governing council for corrective measures.

The amicus continued to insist on the need to register an FIR and an investigation by the police. The CJ told her that if FIR is to be registered, the victim has to come forward or the committee report should have sufficient evidence.  

Kamal Trivedi submitted that when the GNLU director went to register the complaint, the police refused to take do so. The CJ then questioned, “For a material on Instagram for which no evidence is there, how can a director lodge a complaint?…No one has contacted the director saying that this incident has happened against me on the university campus, how can the director file a complaint?”

The HC asked GNLU registrar, who has been removed from the post, to tender an apology for his response to the court shielding the university. The registrar and GNLU director have to file an affidavit assuring the court how the university will take care of student issues, the court said.

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