The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered a crackdown on ragging on campuses across the country. The court made it compulsory for colleges and other educational institutions to register FIRs and said exemplary punishment should be awarded to offenders, so that it acts as a deterrent.
"Every single incident of ragging, where the victim or his parent/guardian or the head of institution was not satisfied with the institutional arrangement for action, a First Information Report must be filed compulsorily by the institutional authority with the local police authorities," the court said.
If the institution does not file an FIR, despite the victim remaining dissatisfied with the redressal obtained, it shall be interpreted as an act of culpable negligence by the institution, the court said. It clarified that the filing of an FIR by the victim or his parents directly with the police did not absolve institutional authorities of their responsibilities.
Accepting the RK Raghavan Committee's report on ragging, the court also directed lower courts to ensure that ragging cases were taken up on a priority basis to avoid inconvenience to the victims and send a stern message.
The seven-member panel headed by former CBI director Raghavan was constituted by the court last year to recommend measures against ragging, which in extreme cases has caused deaths.
A bench of justices Arijit Pasayat and SH Kapadia passed a number of other directions to prevent ragging. It ordered all educational institutions to constitute special anti-ragging committees or squads. It asked the Raghavan panel to monitor the functioning of the anti-ragging squads and submit a report to it.
The court also asked the educational institutions to seek an undertaking from candidates before admitting them to the effect that he/she had not been involved in ragging activities in the past. If the undertaking was found to be false, the student should be expelled, the court said.