With rising cases of ragging in education institutions, the Gujarat high court has directed the state government to issue a circular to all such institutions, intimating them that if they fail to curb ragging on their campus, the government will act against its highest authority.
The bench of Chief Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Aniruddha Mayee also suggested there should be complaint boxes placed on campuses where students, who wish to remain anonymous, can drop complaints about ragging.
In January, the HC took suo motu cognizance of a ragging incident at BJ Medical College in Ahmedabad and filed a PIL. The amicus curiae in the case, advocate Amit Panchal, suggested that rules should be made stringent to curb ragging.
The government submitted that there are regulations in this regard, and the high court accepted that the regulations have statutory force. The chief justice said that the UGC guidelines in this regard too are binding for all the universities.
The HC took note that the regulations have punishment provisions at the institutional level in the form of suspension, expulsion and rustication for students, withdrawal of affiliation for institutions and punishment for the head of departments. “This is a comprehensive regulation. This has a sufficient deterrent effect. As far as a criminal case is concerned, an individual can file it. This regulation is a statutory regulation. It takes care of the situation,” the CJ said.
The high court stressed the need to sensitise students by putting up these regulations on the websites of institutes and displaying them at conspicuous places in universities.
“Anti-ragging campaigns are to be launched by institutes and complaint boxes for students are very important. We are going to deal with children aged between 18 and 20 years. We cannot make them criminals. It is our duty that we sensitise them, so they do not indulge in this kind of act,” the court said.
The government has been asked to come up with a draft of the circular by October 26.