The Delhi High Court asked the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) to encourage its students and said that scoring good marks and performing best are not the most important things in life.

The Court was deciding a writ petition seeking direction to the police authorities to register appropriate FIRs in the cases involving the deaths of two students being alleged to have committed suicide. However, it declined to order probe in these cases.

A Single Bench of Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar observed, “It is high time that the faculty as well as other staff members of Indian Institute of Technology make conscious efforts and take endeavours to counsel, encourage, motivate and invigorate the students. It is of utmost priority to make the young minds understand that though scoring good marks and performing your best is important but it is not the most important thing in life and one can certainly give his/her best without succumbing to the pressures or stress of performing better.”

The Bench said that the academic career of two brilliant and young students came to an end under devastating circumstances and one cannot even fathom the challenges and emotions which the parents of the deceased must be facing every day.

Advocate Mehmood Pracha represented the petitioners while ASC Rupali Bandhopadhya represented the respondents.

Brief Facts -

The petitioners were the parents of two deceased students of B.Tech (Mathematics and Computing) at IIT, Delhi who has filed complaints. It was alleged that one student was found dead on July 8 last year at this Hostel Room and another student was found dead in the September month in his Hostel Room. It was alleged by the said parents that their sons were murdered with the conspiracy of IIT Faculty members to hide the real facts and were falsely shown to have committed suicide.

It was further alleged in the complaints that both the students belonged to Scheduled Castes and they had informed their parents several times regarding caste discrimination by the faculty/staff of IIT Delhi. Therefore, the parents alleged that the faculty members were trying to save the real accused persons and the police officials were also not investigating the matter in a proper manner. In view of this, an enquiry was conducted in both the cases and it was found that the deceased students were under depression as they failed in some subjects.

The High Court in view of the above facts noted, “Perusal of the Status Report filed by the Ld. ASC for the State shows that a thorough and detailed enquiry was conducted into both the cases and it was found that no complaint was ever given by any of the deceased students to the police, SC/ST Cell of IIT Delhi or to any of their friends in Campus regarding any caste-based discrimination being faced by them. Moreover, statements of family and friends of the deceased were recorded and several other students of IIT, Delhi who belonged to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes were also examined and none of them reported any caste-based discrimination taking place in the IIT Campus, Delhi. The allegations levelled by the petitioners therefore, could not be corroborated and nothing came on record to substantiate the same.”

The Court said that it can understand the sentiments of the parents of the deceased and hence, discouraged the growing trend of pressurising young minds to perform the best in every aspect of life leading them to take unfortunate steps.

“The most significant way of instilling this into young minds who face challenges everyday in the professional and competitive environment of colleges is by teaching them in the very same campus where they spend years of their students lives, the values of prioritizing their health, be it physical or mental, which will also give them the confidence to face every challenge in life”, it observed.

The Court, therefore, held that a mandamus cannot be issued in a routine manner merely on the basis of sympathy or sentiments.

Accordingly, the High Court dismissed the petition.

Cause Title- Amit Kumar & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors. (Neutral Citation: 2024:DHC:623)


Petitioners: Advocates Jatin Bhatt and Harshit S. Gahlot.

Respondents: Advocates Himanshu Pathak, Sahaj Garg, Samman Kr. Singh, SPP Ripu Daman Bhardwaj, Advocate Abhijeet Kumar.

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