The Delhi High Court in an order last week said it was unhappy about the impending closure of an alleged sexual harassment case at a college in 2020 without any individual being held accountable, Live Law reported on Tuesday.

The court directed the local deputy commissioner of police to look into the matter and supervise the investigation.

On February 6, 2020, a mob of unruly, drunk men had allegedly mobbed the entrances of Delhi University’s Gargi College and forced their way in during the annual cultural festival “Reverie”. Students had alleged that the group sexually assaulted them while the police looked on.

A lawyer named ML Sharma had filed a petition in the High Court demanding that the Central Bureau of Investigation should look into the case. During a hearing of the case, the Delhi government had told the court that although some testimonies to the police suggested that harassment had taken place, none of the aggrieved parties had “positively identified any perpetrators”.

“This Court voices its unease regarding the impending closure of a grievous incident without holding any individual accountable,” a bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula said. “While some testimonies have been collected, the lack of definitive evidence under Section 164 [recording of statements by magistrate] poses challenges.”

The court said there was a need to address hesitancy on the part of witnesses to come forward. “The law enforcement agencies must instill confidence in them,” it said, according to Live Law.

The division bench also said that there were media reports indicating that some accused men were arrested but later released on bail. “To let go such potential leads without meticulous scrutiny would be a miscarriage of justice,” it said.

The court also directed the Delhi Police chief and the Delhi University’s vice-chancellor to “bolster police visibility” at college events to prevent such incidents from recurring.

The Delhi Police had registered a first information report under Sections 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.

However, the police later the court that none of the victims had come to record their statements before a magistrate. Due to this, the police have prepared an untraced report before a trial court, the High Court noted in its order. Such a report is filed when the police are unable to arrest an accused.

The case is slated to be heard by Delhi’s Saket court on Wednesday.