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SC committee wants a law to curb ragging

Supreme Court appointed committee recommends a law to check accountability of educational institutions for cases related with ragging, reports Chetan Chauhan.
None | By Chetan Chauhan, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 15, 2007 02:27 AM IST

A Supreme Court appointed committee last week recommended a comprehensive law to check ragging, while seeking accountability of educational institutions for such cases.

The proposed anti-ragging law had faced some opposition in the committee with certain members raising questions over its enforceability.

Six states have enacted anti-ragging laws following a Supreme Court order in 1999 but a negligible number of cases have been registered under the law, a government official said.

The committee in a report to the court has found out that the conviction rate in ragging cases booked under Indian Penal Code was poor and has recommended specific changes in the IPC to improve it.

HRD ministry told Rajya Sabha on Monday that no data is maintained centrally on ragging cases. Earlier this year, a social group Coalition to Uproot Ragging from Education (CURA) has said 25 suicides have been reported because of ragging in the last seven years.

The CURA report also said, “Many institutions don’t report cases of ragging fearing loss of reputation.” The committee wants educational institutions to be made punishable for hiding cases and has recommended a code of guidelines for the colleges.

The committee headed by former CBI Director R K Raghavan had also drawn a social profile of the victims and found that most of the ragging victims were either from rural areas or socially backward communities.

To bridge the divide, the committee has suggested an induction programme for the freshers with the help of senior students under faculty guidance. It also speaks about faculty training to check ragging incidents.

The committee appointed by the court to look into ways of preventing ragging and possible action against the accused has recommended stern penalties including rustication for the accused. The colleges would have to set up psychological counselling mechanism for the victims, the committee has said.

A committee member said the court is expected to consider the report soon.

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