Determined to make an example of those found guilty of ragging, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) imposed harsh punishment on 19 students in August this year.
However, a month later the varsity's 'zero tolerance' stance against ragging seems to have softened.
This week, the administration commuted the punishment of all 19 Masters of Computer Application (MCA) students at the behest of JNU Chancellor Professor Yashpal.
Six of the nine students who were rusticated from the university for two years now have to pay a fine of Rs 5,000 and all hostels on campus have been declared out of bounds for them. The remaining three, who have a weak financial background, do not have to pay the fine.
As for the ten students who were expelled from their hostels for a year for abetting the act of ragging, the expulsion has been commuted to six months.
JNU reported its first case of ragging ever on August 12 after four MCA students were caught red-handed in a room of Sabarmati hostel. The incident tainted the varsity's record of not having any such case reported in its 40-year-old history.
"The affected students had met the Chancellor, who is the appellate authority in this matter, and pleaded for leniency. It was on the Chancellor's request to look into the issue once again, that the punishment was revised,” said Chief Proctor HC Bohidar, who headed the inquiry into the ragging case.
The Vice Chancellor issued the order to commute punishment on September 16 after all 19 students submitted apology letters to his office.
Though relieved, the 19 students still maintain that have not ragged their juniors. "Even in my apology letterI have not accepted I have ragged my juniors,” said an indicted student.