In view of the increasing incidents of ragging in colleges and elsewhere that reached proportions unbecoming of a civilised society the Honble Supreme court admitted and heard the 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).


Pursuant to an order of Honble Supreme Court of India dated November 27, 2006, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has constituted a Committee under the Chairmanship of Shri R.K. Raghavan (former Director, CBI) to look into the issue of ragging and suggest means of prevention of ragging in educational institutions. 


The Committee primarily examined the following broad aspects of ragging:

(a)     Means and methods of prevention of ragging.

(b)     Possible action that can be taken against persons indulging in ragging.

(c)     Possible action that can be taken against college/university authorities in the event of ragging.


The Committee had carried out a very detailed study with the help of voluntary organizations including CURE (Coalition for Uprooting Ragging from Education) and SPACE (Society for Peoples Action Change and Enforcement) and collected voluminous public opinion on the various factors contributing for ragging. Noted psychologists and educationists assisted the committee. The National Informatics Centre at the Ministry of Human Resources hosted a guest book in their website. Nearly  eleven press releases were made during this period of  evaluation and committee visited several
cities in the country. A subcommittee of the Medical Council of India was also constituted for this purpose. A questionnaire was prepared that elicited over 12500 responses. In short a wide cross-section of the society provided the necessary background information, data and suggestions on tackling ragging in the country for consideration by the esteemed committee.


Subsequently the committee 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 institutions for necessary implementation by the Honble Supreme Court on 16 May 2007.


I. The   following   factors   need   to   be   focused   to tackle with the problem:

(a)  Primary   responsibility   for   curbing   ragging   rests   with   academic institutions themselves.

(b)  Ragging adversely impacts the standards of higher education.

(c)  Incentives   should   be   available   to   institutions   for   curbing the menace and there should be disincentives for failure to do so.

(d)  Enrolment   in   academic   pursuits   or   a   campus   life   should not immunize any adult citizen from penal provisions of the laws of the land.

(e)  Ragging needs to be perceived as failure to inculcate human values from the schooling stage.

(f)   Behavioural   patterns   among   students,   particularly   potential 'raggers', need to be identified.

(g)  Measures against ragging must deter its recurrence.

(h)  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.

(i)   Media and the Civil Society should be involved in this exercise.


II The   Committee   has   made   several   recommendations. For   the present,    the apex court felt that   the   following   
recommendations  should be implemented without any further lapse of time

(1)The   punishment   to   be   meted   out   has   to   be   exemplary and justifiably harsh to act as a deterrent against recurrence of such incidents.


(2)  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 (FIR) 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.


(3) Courts   should   make   an   effort   to   ensure   that   cases   involving ragging  are taken up on  a priority basis to send the correct message
that ragging is not only to be discourages but also to be dealt with sternness.


(4)  In   addition,   the court directed the   possibility   of   introducing   in   the educational   curriculum   a   subject   relating   to   ragging shall   be
explored  by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and the  respective  State  Council  of  Educational 
Research  and  Training (SCERT).    This  aspect  can  be  included  in  the  teaching  of  the  subjects "Human Rights".


(5)  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.


(6) The Central Government and the State Governments shall launch a programme   giving   wide   publicity   to   the   menace   of   ragging   and   the 
consequences  which  follow  in  case  any  student  is  detected  to  have  been involved in ragging.


(7) 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-in-aid or assistance from the State Governments.


(8) 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, 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.


(9) 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.


The All India Institute of Medical Sciences requests all students, parents and guardians to go through these directives and co-operate in the implementation of the directives of the Honourable Supreme Court of India. It is hoped that this will signal an end to the menace of ragging. Strict action shall be taken in accordance with the directives in case any student is found to indulge in ragging.


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Published in Civil Law
Source : Supreme Court , Supreme Court
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