HYDERABAD: The Telangana High Court has made various suggestions to the educational institutions to prevent drug abuse among students. The measures suggested by the high court include looking out for peddlers in their vicinity, conducting surveys to assess the levels of drug addiction among their students, setting up anti-drug club, to have a peer support group to initiate conversations about negative impacts of drug use, to have health professionals, to conduct seminars, talks on drug abuse, to work with local NGOs on tackling drug abuse and setting up a deaddiction centre within the institute.
Justice T Vinod Kumar passed this order recently while partly allowing petitions filed by two National Institute of Technology (NIT) students of Warangal, who were suspended from the institute for consuming ganja on the university premises.
It may be mentioned here that the petitioners, who are first year BTech students at the NIT, moved the court in January questioning the action of the varsity in suspending them till the end of current academic year (2019-20) and imposing a penalty of `One lakh each. The court refused to go into the matter and directed the institute’s Senate to dispose of the appeal filed by the students within a time frame as they were not permitted to attend the classes and appear for the first year examination.
On Jan 24, the Senate rejected the appeal and upheld the punishment and penalties imposed by the disciplinary committee. Aggrieved with the same, the present petitions have been filed challenging the suspension. After hearing the case Justice Vinod Kumar said “I am of the view that the institute should support students and curb them from abusing drugs.’’ As for the present case, the court is of the view that a reformative approach should be adopted rather than a deterrent action.
It would be appropriate to set aside the suspension till end of the current academic year with a direction to repeat the first year in the academic year 2020-21. The judge modified the impugned order “to the end of first semester”. While partly allowing the petitions, the judge imposed various conditions like that they may attend classes, take exams and use lab and library facilities. However, hostel and mess should be barred till the end of the academic year and they should stay outside and provide details of their stay to the institute.