Ragging is human rights abuse, says Supreme Court

February 11th, 2009 - 8:29 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 11 (IANS) Terming ragging as “human rights abuse in essence”, the Supreme Court Wednesday again directed all educational institutions to take stringent anti-ragging measures, including filing criminal cases against erring students.
A bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice Mukundakam Sharma ruled that the police would have to be “informed immediately and criminal law set into motion (against students ragging juniors)”.

“If the authorities are prima facie satisfied about (the veracity of) the errant act of any student, they can in appropriate cases pending final decision, suspend the student from institution and hostel and give him an opportunity to have his say,” said the bench, reiterating its earlier order of May 2007.

Rejecting lenient steps against student raggers, it said: “A question raised was regarding giving opportunity to the offender before taking stringent action like expulsion etc.”

Brushing aside the question, the judges said: “Delay in taking action would frustrate the need for taking urgent action.”

The court also ordered for a cut in financial aids to educational institutions found protecting students involved in ragging.

“If it comes to the notice of the university or the controlling authority that any educational institution is trying to shield an errant student, they shall be free to reduce the grant in aids and in serious cases deny grants in aids,” the bench ruled.

It said the students would be apprised of the consequences of their acts of ragging their juniors at the time of admission, with the consequences detailed in the prospectus booklets.

In its ruling, the bench approved of almost all the recommendations made by the government-appointed committee, headed by former central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director R.K. Raghvan.

The committee had recommended that the failure on the part of the institutions in filing the first information report should be construed as negligence on their part, for which the government can consider stopping financial aid to it.

The bench earlier said that if a victim or his guardian was not satisfied with the action taken against ragging, a criminal case must be lodged with the police by the institution.

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