Ragging - An Avoidable Crime
July 25, 2012
Sub: Prevention of Ragging
Ref: Directives of the Supreme Court of India, dated May 16, 2007 in SLP No (s) 24295 of 2006 University of Kerala Vs Council, Principals', Colleges, Kerala & Ors (with SLP(C) No. 24296-99/2004 & W.P. (Crl) No. 173/2006 and SLP(C) No. 14356/2005).
"Ragging is any disorderly conduct, whether by words spoken or written, or by an act which has the effect of teasing, treating or handling with rudeness any student, indulging in rowdy or indisciplined activities which cause or are likely to cause annoyance, hardship or psychological harm or to raise fear or apprehension thereof in a fresher or a junior student and which has the effect of causing or generating a sense of shame or embarrassment so as to adversely affect the psyche of a fresher or a junior student."-
Hon'ble Supreme Court of India
The Hon'ble Supreme Court of India admitted and heard the above referred SLPs in relation to the menace of ragging in Technical Institutions/ Universities/ Colleges in the Country. In this connection, a committee headed by Dr. R.K. Raghavan, former Director of CBI, for giving specific recommendations on effective prevention of ragging in educational institutions was constituted by the apex court. Accordingly, the Committee had carried out a very detailed study on the various factors contributing to ragging and collected the public opinion. Further, the committee had submitted a detailed report with suitable recommendations and measures required to effectively curb the menace. The recommendations of the Committee were duly accepted and the following directives have been issued to all the educational institutes for necessary implementation by the Hon'ble Court.
I. Factors enlisted by the committee:
- Primary responsibility for curbing ragging rests with academic institutions themselves.
- Ragging adversely impacts the standards of higher education.
- Incentives should be available to institutions for curbing the menace and there should be disincentives for failure to do so.
- Enrollment in academic pursuits or a campus life should not immunize any adult citizen from penal provisions of the laws of the land.
- Ragging needs to be perceived as failure to inculcate human values from the schooling stage.
- Behavioral patterns among students, particularly potential 'raggers', need to be identified.
- Measures against ragging must deter its recurrence.
- Concerted action is required at the level of the school, higher educational institution, district administration, university, State and Central Governments to make any curb effective.
- Media and the Civil Society should be involved in this exercise.
II. Recommendations approved by the Supreme Court.
- The punishment to be meted out has to be exemplary and justifiably harsh to act as a deterrent against recurrence of such incidents.
- Every single incident of ragging where the victim or his parent/guardian or the Head of institution is not satisfied with the institutional arrangement for action, a First Information Report must be filed without exception by the institutional authorities with the local police authorities. Any failure on the part of the institutional authority or negligence or deliberate delay in lodging the FIR with the local police shall be construed to be an act of culpable negligence on the part of the institutional authority. If any victim or his parent/guardian of ragging intends to file FIR directly with the police, that will not absolve the institutional authority from the requirement of filing the FIR.
- In the prospectus to be issued for admission by educational institutions, it shall be clearly stipulated that in case the applicant for admission is found to have indulged in ragging in the past or if it is noticed later that he has indulged in ragging, admission may be refused or he shall be expelled from the educational institution.
- It shall be the collective responsibility of the authorities and functionaries of the concerned institution and their role shall also be open to scrutiny for the purpose of finding out whether they have taken effective steps for preventing ragging and in case of their failure, action can be taken; for example, denial of any grant-inaid or assistance from the State Governments.
- Anti-ragging committees and squads shall be forthwith formed by the institutions and it shall be the job of the committee or the squad, as the case may be, to see that the Committee's recommendations, more particularly those noted above, are observed without exception and if it is noticed that there is any deviation, the same shall be forthwith brought to the notice of this Court.
- The Committee constituted pursuant to the order of this Court shall continue to monitor the functioning of the anti-ragging committees and the squads to be formed. They shall also monitor the implementation of the recommendations to which reference has been made above.
Undertaking from Students and Parents :
Each of the student of the Institute and his/her parents and, or Guardian are hereby required to submit a combined undertaking at the time of registration, in the prescribed format as attached to this order, which is mandatory for registration.
All concerned officials of the Institute, students, parents & guardians of the students, members of Anti-ragging committees & Anti-ragging squads are hereby requested to adhere to the stipulations and effectively monitor and comply with the provisions made in the directives.