‘Don’t Make us Investigating Agency’: Gujarat HC Declines Suo Motu Cognizance of Attack on Foreign Students

The Gujarat High Court on Monday emphasized that it should not function as a probe agency and clarified that not every incident warrants a PIL, concerning an assault on students from foreign countries at a university hostel in Ahmedabad.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Aniruddha P Mayee declined to take suo motu cognisance of the incident, stating that the matter falls under the purview of the police.

The court’s stance came in response to a lawyer’s request to address the issue through a suo motu PIL.

Chief Justice Agrawal emphasized, “Our effort is that justice be done, but don’t make us an investigating agency. We are not doing that. We still want to remind ourselves that we are constitutional courts. We will definitely take into cognisance if such matter comes in, but this is not one of those.”

She reiterated that not every incident in the city is suitable for PIL consideration and cautioned against substituting the court for law enforcement.

When lawyer KR Koshti raised concerns about the FIR not encompassing all pertinent sections, the court directed him to seek legal recourse.

According to police reports, around two dozen individuals allegedly entered the government-run Gujarat University’s hostel in Ahmedabad on Saturday night, objecting to students from foreign countries praying near the facility block where they resided. The altercation resulted in two students-one from Sri Lanka and another from Tajikistan being hospitalized. An FIR was filed against 20-25 unidentified assailants, and nine investigative teams were assigned to probe the incident.

To date, five individuals have been arrested in connection with the incident, as confirmed by the police.

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