South East Asian Headlines & Breaking News

Court orders 16 state universities to submit report on ragging incidents

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The Supreme Court has ordered 16 government universities across the island to submit a report pertaining to the incidents of ragging reported at the respective institutions over the last three years and the measures taken to prevent them, before November 10, 2023.

This order was issued taking up for consideration a Fundamental Rights (FR) petition filed by Pasindu Harshana de Silva, seeking a ruling that his fundamental human rights were violated as a result of the critical injuries he had sustained as a first-year student of Sri Jayewardenepura University in an incident involving a group of senior students who had thrown a large tire upon him in 2020.

The petition was called before a three-member Supreme Court judge bench consisting of Justices Buwaneka Aluvihare, Shiran Gunaratne and Priyantha Fernando yesterday (11).

Appearing on behalf of the Attorney General, Senior State Counsel Avanthi Perera told the court that the Attorney General has decided not to represent all state universities across the island, which have been named as the respondents of the relevant petition.

Accordingly, the Senior State Counsel mentioned that the Attorney General’s Department would inform the respondents to submit the relevant reports to the court through private attorneys.

However, the Attorney General will continue to appear for the Inspector General of Police (IGP), University Grants Commission (UGC) and the Minister of Higher Education, who are also the respondents of the case, she added.

Meanwhile, the private attorneys who appeared on behalf of the Kelaniya, Sri Jayewardenepura and Colombo universities have requested the Supreme Court to grant more time to submit the reports.

Furthermore, appearing for the petitioning party, President’s Counsel Shavindra Fernando stated before the court that the petitioner does not seek any compensation, adding that his client wants the court to rule that a series of guidelines be prepared in order to prevent such unfortunate incidents happening at universities in the future.

Thus, the Supreme Court judge bench which ordered the case to be recalled on November 10, 2023, also ordered 16 state universities including the Colombo, Kelaniya, Peradeniya, Vavuniya, Sabaragamuwa and North-Western universities to submit the relevant reports pertaining to the matter on that date.

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