Don’t glorify students’ suicides: Madras HC tells media

Media coverage and compensation act as an inducement to commit suicide, says HC

Madras HC says destroy pro-LTTE books of Pazha Nedumaran Madras High Court | Wikimedia Commons

The Madras High Court on Monday urged media to desist from glorifying the suicides of students and observed that government and political parties should stop giving financial assistance to the victim’s families.

Four medical college aspirants in Tamil Nadu had ended their life by suicide ahead of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) which was held on Sunday. The suicides had triggered a political storm with opposition parties led by the DMK hitting out at the Centre for going ahead with the examination. The ruling AIADMK is also opposed to the exam.

Chief Minister K. Palaniswami had on September 10 announced a solatium of Rs 7 lakh to the family of a student who had commited suicide.

Hearing a petition filed by advocate A.P. Suryaprakashan, the court said media coverage and compensation act as an inducement to commit suicide.

Suryaprakashan told news agency IANS that the court had ordered the state government in 2018 to hold counselling sessions for the students so that they do not resort to extreme measures. But the government did not hold any such counselling session, he alleged.

Tamil Nadu has been demanding exemption from NEET for years now, but the Centre has maintained that it is impossible to give such exemption to one state.

School Education Minister K.A. Sengottaiyan said on Saturday that the government is against the NEET and has been urging the Centre to exempt the state from the test. 

Last Wednesday, the Supreme Court had refused to entertain a batch of pleas seeking deferment or cancellation of NEET.

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