Justice Rajasekhar Mantha was hearing a petition by the parents of third-year mechanical engineering student Faizan Ahmed, who was found dead in the LLRH (Lala Lajpat Rai Hall) hostel room on October 14. The parents, in their petition, had questioned the authorities’ role in the death.
The court remarked that materials available to it clearly suggested “ragging”, adding that a mere “warning” to students accused of ragging did not seem to be in accordance with guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in three judgments. “We are dealing with a malaise, a disease that can break students. They say some turn out to be men, but some are broken. Whether this will amount to abetment to suicide will have to seen,” the court orally observed.
“This court is interested to know as to what steps have been taken by the said wardens and the management of IIT, Kharagpur after receipt of information,” the HC noted in its order.
The court’s order came after ASP (West Midnapore) and the investigating officer submitted a detailed report to it. The court, while asking not to make any part of the report public since it may have “serious repercussions on the investigation,” cited an email in the petition on February 4, 2022, addressed by a team of RPH (Rajendra Prasad Hall) wardens to students of IIT Kharagpur. “There is mention of serious complaints from second-year undergraduate students of being physically and mentally harassed by a group of seniors,” the court said.