Ragging is originally a concept from the west and was generally a kind of interaction between seniors and juniors in schools and colleges. But, such communications, have taken a fierce, inhuman and anti-social, form at times. Many of the highly reputed colleges and institutions have a disturbing tale related to it. It has social, physical, political-economic academic and physiological dimensions.
Ragging under laws in India defined as:
(i) Any disorderly conduct either by acts or words spoken, gestures, which results in teasing, handling with rudeness to any pupil.
(ii) Any undisciplined or rowdy activity, which causes harm.
(iii) Raises fear in the minds of junior students.
(iv) Asking the students to perform something, which such student will not do in the ordinary course, which can cause shame or embarrassment and adversely affect the physique or psyche of a junior student.
The Indian laws which keep checking on the practice of ragging in India, are:
- Indian Penal Code, 1860
- UGC regulations by name, UGC Regulations on Curbing the Menace of Ragging in Higher Educational Institutions, 2009
- Other institute specific regulations.
Punishments under Indian Penal Code, 1860 for ragging
The institution must register FIR for every incident of ragging or abetment of ragging. IPC provisions which can be used by a student to register an FIR are:-
Section 294 – Obscene acts and songs
Section 299 – Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder
Section 323 – punishment for voluntarily causing hurt
Section 324 – intentionally causing destroyed by dangerous weapon or means
Section 325 – provides for punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt
Section 326 – provides for voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapon
Section 339 – Wrongful Restraint
Section 340 – Wrongful Confinement
Section 341 – Punishment for Wrongful Restraint
Section 342 – Punishment for Wrongful Confinement
Anti-Ragging Committee: Every institution must establish a committee by name the Anti-Ragging Committee. Head of the institution to be nominated as the head, and consisting of representatives of police administration, local media, NGOs involved in youth activities, representatives of faculty members, representatives of parents, representatives of students belonging to the fresher’s as well as senior students, non-teaching staff; and shall have a mix membership of levels as well as gender. The Anti-Ragging Committee has to ensure compliance with the provisions of the law and regulations concerning ragging to stop the menace of ragging. The College has to submit to weekly reports on anti-ragging status to the Vice-Chancellor of the University.
FIR: The guidelines lay down that when any information regarding any reported incident of ragging, the Head of the institution shall immediately determine, if a case falls under the penal laws and if so, by himself or through a member of the Committee, proceed to file a First Information Report (FIR), within twenty-four hours of receipt of such information.
Consequences of Ragging-
(i) Cancellation of admission
(ii) Suspension from attending classes
(iii) Withholding/withdrawing scholarship and other benefits
(iv) Debarring from appearing in exam/another evaluation manner
(v) Withholding the results/mark sheets.
(vi) Debarring the student from representing the institution in any festival.
(vii) Suspension from hostel
(viii) Restriction for 1 to 4 years from the institution.
(ix) Expulsion from the institution and debarring from admission in any other institution.
(x) Fine as per the laws.
Conclusion: The primary responsibility to curb ragging vests with the educational institutions. There is a requirement for the participation of media and society as well. Hon’ble Supreme Court has rightly observed that by, declaring ragging as a cognizable offence will not restrain ragging, as the students going to educational institutions should not be subjected to live under the apprehension of police. However, given the recent impact on the students, these guidelines to curb the menace of ragging were put in place. The Court also has been given responsibility to ensure that there is speedy disposal of these matters. The strict implementation of these laws can only wipe the memories of the adverse impact of ragging.
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