RAGGING AND THE LAW
The Supreme Court of India Order May 2007
(based on Raghavan Committee Recommendations)
[Reproduced verbatim from the Supreme Court of India website]
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS
Petition(s) for Special Leave to Appeal (Civil) No(s).24295/2004
(From the judgement and order dated 24/06/2004 in WP No. 30845/2003 of the HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM)
UNIVERSITY OF KERALA Petitioner(s)
COUNCIL,PRINCIPALS,COLLEGES,KERALA & ORS Respondent(s)
(With appln(s) for intervention and modification and directions and impleadment as party respondent and with prayer for interim relief and office report)
WITH SLP(C) NO. 14356 of 2005 (With appln.(s) for exemption from filing O.T. and c/delay in filing counter affidavit and office report)
W.P.(CRL.) NO. 173 of 2006 (With appln.(s) for directions and exemption from filing O.T. and urging addl. ground and with office report)
SLP(C) NO. 24296-24299 of 2004 (With prayer for interim relief and office report)
These Petitions were called on for hearing today.
HON'BLE Dr. JUSTICE ARIJIT PASAYAT
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE S.H. KAPADIA
Mr. Gopal Subramaniam, A.S.G. (A.C.)
Mrs. Sushma Suri, Adv.
Mr. Abhishek Tewari, Adv.
Mr. R. Sathish,Adv. Dr. Sushil Balwada, Adv. Mr. Satbir Tillania, Adv. Mr. Anil Karnwal, Adv. Mr. Prashant Kumar, Adv. Ms. Pooja Dhar, Adv. Ms. Ratna Kaul, Adv. for M/s AP & J Chambers, Advs.
Mr. Ranjit Kumar, Sr.Adv. Mr. E.M.S. Anam,Adv. Mr. Fazlin Anam, Adv. Mr. P.V. Dinesh, Adv. Mrs. Sindhu T.P.,Adv. Mr. P.V. Vinod, Adv. Mr. Sandeep B.K., Adv Mr. KH. Nobin Singh, Adv. Mr. David Rao, Adv. Mr. S. Biswajit Meitei, Adv. Mr. Manoj Swarup, Adv. Ms. Lalit Kohli, Adv. for M/s. Manoj Swarup & Co., Advs. Mr. T.V. George, Adv. Mr. M.P. Vinod, Adv. Mr. Ajay K. Jain, Adv. Mr. Sjith P., Adv. Mr. K.R. Sasiprabhu, Adv. Mr. Ajit Kumar Sinha,Adv. Mr. M.K. Michael, Adv. Mr. M.K.D. Namboodiri, Adv. Mr. V.G. Pragasam, Adv. Mr. Shivaji M. Jadhav, Adv. Mr. Radha Shyam Jena, Adv. For Res.1-3 & 5 in WP 173/06: Mr. Soli J. Sorabjee, Sr.Adv. Ms. Vibha Datta Makhija Mr. Manish Kumar, Adv. Mr. Ansar Ahmad Chaudhary, Adv.
UPON hearing counsel the Court made the following ORDER
We have perused the Report of the Committee constituted pursuant to this Court's order to suggest remedial measures to tackle with the problem of ragging in educational institutions.
An elaborate report has been submitted by the Committee headed by Dr.R.K. Raghavan. According to the Committee, the following factors need to be focused to tackle with the problem:
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.
Enrolment 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.
Behavioural 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.
The Committee has made several recommendations. For the present, we feel that the following recommendations should be implemented without any further lapse of time.
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.
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.
In addition, we direct that 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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
Post these matters in September, 2007 for further directions on the recommendations received from the Committee.
I.A.No.5/2007 in S.L.P.(C) No.24295/2004:
Response, if any, by the University shall be filed within four weeks.
Rejoinder, if any, within four weeks thereafter. Mr. Gopal Subramaniam, learned amicus curiae shall also indicate his views.
Writ Petition (Crl.) No.173/2006: List this petition separately in September, 2007.
(N. Annapurna) (Madhu Saxena)
Court Master Court Master
THE WEST BENGAL PROHIBITION OF RAGGING IN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS ACT, 2000
(The West Bengal Act XIII of 2000 )
An Act to prohibit ragging in educational institutions in West Bengal.
Wheareas it is expedient to prohibit ragging in educational institutions in West Bengal;
It is enacted in the Fifty-first year of the Republic of India by the Legislature of West Bengal, as follows:-
1. Short title, extent and commencement.-(1) This Act may be called the West Bengal Prohibition of Ragging in Educational Institutions, 2000.
(2) It extends to the whole of West Bengal.
( 3) It shall come into force on such date as the State Government may by notification may appoint.
2. Definitions: In this Act, unless the Context otherwise requires:
(1)“educational institution” means any educational institution by whatever name called, whether or not maintained and managed by the State Government
recognised or deemed to have been recognised under any law for the time being in force or,
affiliated to a University as defined in the University Grants Commission Act, 1956 ( 3 of 1956 )
(2)“notification” means a notification published in the Official Gazette. (3) “prescribed” means prescribed by the Rules made under this Act.
(4) “ragging” means the doing of any act which causes, or is likely to cause any physical, psychological or physiological harm or apprehension or shame or embarrassment to a student, and includes–
(a) teasing or abusing of playing Practical joke on, or causing hurt to any student. or
(b) asking any student to do any act, or perform any thing, which he would not, in the ordinary course, be willing to do or perform.
(5) “student” means a student who has been prosecuting his study in 4an educational institution.
3. Prohibition of Ragging (1) Ragging within an educational institution is hereby prohibited.
(2) No person shall participate in, abet, or propagate, ragging in any educational institution.
Explanation :- For the purpose of this Section, educational institution shall include--
the premises or the campus of the educational institution, or
the hall, that is to say, the unit of residence of students maintained by the educational institution, if any, or
the hostel, that is to say, the unit for the residence of students, if any, not maintained by the educational institution but recognised under any law for the time being in force.
4. Penalty for Ragging.--Whoever contravenes the provisions of Section 3 shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years or with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees or both.
5. Dismissal of student on conviction and bay to admission and re-admission: If any student is convicted of an act punishable under section 4, he shall be dismissed from the educational institution in which he has been prosecuting his studies for the time being, and shall not be re-admitted to that educational institution.
6. Expulsion of student:-without prejudice to the foregoing provisions of this Act where a student complains of ragging by any other student to the head of the educational Institution or to any other person responsible for the management of the educational institution, such head of the educational institution shall forthwith inquire into the complaint and and if, on such inquiry the complaint is found to be true, he shall expel the student, who has committed the offence, from the educational institution.
7. Constitution of Committee.- Notwithstanding anything contained in section 5 and 6, any student dismissed under section 5 or expelled under section 6 may appeal in the prescribed manner to the Committee to be constituted by the State Government in the manner prescribed, and the decision of the Committee on such appeal shall be final.
8. Failure or negligence to comply with the provisions of section 6.--(1) If the head of the educational institution or the person responsible to the management of the educational institution fails or neglects to comply with the provisions of section 6, a complaint of such failure may be made to the Committee constituted under section 7, by the student who complains of ragging under section 6 or by his guardian.
Explanation:- “Guardian” shall mean a person having the care of the student or any other person who has been declared to be the guardian of the student in the record, if any, maintained by the educational institution.
(2) On receipt of the complaint under sub-section (1), the Committee shall hold such inquiry as it my deem fit and shall make its recommendations to the such managing committee or the governing body of the educational institution or such authority, as the Committee considers appropriate and, the managing committee or the governing body as the case may be, shall take action in accordance with the recommendations as aforesaid.
9. Act to have overriding effect.-- The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent in any other law for the time being in force.
10. Power to make rules.-- (1) The State Government may by notification make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Act.
(2) All rules made under this Act shall, unless some later date is appointed in the State Government, come into force on the date of publication in the Official Gazette.
(Note:-The West Bengal Prohibition of Ragging in Educational Institutions Act, 2000 (W.B. Act XIII of 2000 was published in ‘The Calcutta Gazette’, Extraordinary, published by Authority on Monday, May 29, 2000)