Suicides by Dalit, Adivasi students worrying: CJI

NEW DELHI: Noting that most students who die by suicide hail from Dalit and Adivasi communities, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said judges could not shy away from social realities.

DY Chandrachud, delivering the convocation address at The National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR), referred to the suicide by a Dalit student at the IIT, Bombay, saying such incidents involving victims from marginalised communities were becoming common. Darshan Solanki, a first-year student hailing from Gujarat, allegedly died by suicide on February 12 at the IIT, Bombay.

“Judges cannot shy away from social realities and instances of judicial dialogue are common across the globe. When the black lives matter movement emerged after the murder of George Floyd, all nine judges of the US Supreme Court released a joint statement to the judiciary…on the degradation and devaluation of black lives…” the CJI said.

Expressing concern over instances of suicides by students, the CJI wondered where our institutions were going wrong that students were forced to take their own lives.

“Only recently I read about the suicide by a Dalit student at the IIT, Bombay. It reminded me about the suicide by an Adivasi student at National Law University in Odisha last year. My heart goes out to the family members of these students. However, I also have been wondering where our institutions are going wrong, that students are forced to give up their precious life,” the CJI said.

He said the first step towards ending the same would be to stop allotment of hostel rooms based on marks secured in entrance exams. “It can start with ending allotment of hostels on the basis of entrance marks, which leads to caste-based segregation,” he said. “I think the issue of discrimination is directly linked to the lack of empathy in educational institutions,” the CJI said.


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