In a scathing rebuke, the Gujarat High Court today criticized the Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) administration for allegedly suppressing allegations made by two students concerning queerphobia and rape on the University campus.

The bench, comprising Chief Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Aniruddha P. Mayee, described the sealed cover report submitted by the reconstituted Fact-Finding Committee as “scary” and asserted that the GNLU administration had deliberately concealed the entirety of the incident.

Furthermore, the court observed that this was not an isolated incident, as indicated by the committee’s report, which highlighted similar incidents occurring on the campus. The court emphasized the need for a high-level inquiry into the affairs at GNLU and the conduct of its faculty members.

During the proceedings related to the suo moto matter concerning rape allegations and harassment of a queer student at GNLU, the court expressed dismay at the difficulty faced by the students In speaking up about the incidents, despite being law students. It noted the victim’s statement alleging the involvement of a politically influential person in suppressing the incident before the police, questioning the credibility of such claims.

The court highlighted its concern for law students, who are expected to uphold the law and protect others. It lamented the state of affairs at a law college and the implications for the legal profession if such incidents are not addressed effectively.

Additionally, the court raised concerns about allegations against a male faculty member of the university and criticized the GNLU administration’s adversarial approach towards Instagram posts containing allegations of queerphobia and rape.

In light of these observations, the court directed the Advocate General for the State, Kamal Trivedi, to identify the competent authority responsible for taking action based on the report of the fact-finding committee.

“This is the scariest part of the report,” remarked the court, underscoring the gravity of the situation and the urgent need for action to address the allegations and ensure accountability within the university administration.

The court’s criticism highlights the importance of transparency, accountability, and safeguarding the rights of students, particularly in educational institutions entrusted with shaping future legal professionals.

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