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HC questions law school for filing plea at a late stage

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The High today questioned the Amity School for "belated" filing of a plea urging it not to give any finding on allegations of mental torture and harassment to a student, who allegedly committed suicide in August last year.

The high also questioned the police on the status of the investigation and sought to know by when it would be concluded.

It asked the police why it had not lodged an FIR in the matter for one year when a cognisable offence had taken place and directed it to file on October 17 a detailed status report on the probe conducted so far.

Questioning the timing of the filing of pleas, a bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Nazmi Waziri said "applications have been filed at a belated stage as the matter was listed for final hearing. There should not be any application at this stage. We heard this case four times earlier. Why are you filing the pleas now?"

The separate applications filed by Amity School and a senior woman professor said that any observation by the with regard the allegations of mental torture and harassment would embarass them, prejudice the ongoing probe and amount to indirect interference with it, which is impermissible in

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the professor, said they were afraid that if the court records any finding on the basis of the allegations, it would prejudice them.

He sought a direction to the parties not to address arguments on the issue of alleged harassment to the student or anyone else in these proceedings.

The plea claimed that the allegations raise disputed questions of fact and their veracity can only be tested through police probe, which is underway, or in the trial. The allegations cannot be adjudicated upon in summary proceedings by a writ court, it said.

Senior advocate Akhil Sibal, who appeared for the law school, also urged the court not to determine the disputed questions of facts as the matter has been transferred to the crime branch of Police which has also lodged an FIR.

To his contention that an enquiry be allowed to be carried out by the agency, the bench said, "we are of the view that at this stage we cannot circumvent our powers", and kept the pleas pending.

On being asked by the court about the status of probe, Police Standing Counsel Rahul Mehra said it was going on and it took time to complete the investigation.

"Tell us the status of probe because that would enable us to determine the exact ambit of the enquiry here. Also tell us what action the department has taken on the police officials for not registering the FIR for so long," the bench said.

The court had earlier also pulled up the police for seeking two months time to complete the probe in the case of alleged suicide by a student of Amity Law University.

The court was hearing a plea initiated by the Supreme Court in September last year on the alleged suicide by the student. The matter was transferred to the Delhi High Court in March.

Sushant Rohilla, a third year law student of Amity had hung himself at his home here on August 10, 2016 after the university allegedly barred him from sitting for the semester exams due to lack of requisite attendance. He left behind a note saying he was a failure and did not wish to live.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, October 11 2017. 18:28 IST