Ragging : A Menace
West BengalJudicial Academy
Medical student killed in ragging
Naresh K Sharma & Anand Bodh , TNN | Mar 10, 2009, 12.48AM IST
Aman Kachroo had repeatedly complained to his parents about the brutal ragging. (TOI Photo)
DHARAMSALA: A Delhi Public School student who had taken admission in a
medical school in Himachal Pradesh last year met with a horrible death at the
hands of seniors who are training to be doctors.
Aman Kachroo (19), who passed out of DPS International in Saket and enrolled
at the Dr Rajendra Prasad Medical College, Tanda, in Kangra last August had
repeatedly complained to his parents about the brutal ragging that took place
on campus — often by completely drunk third-year students.
On Friday night and Saturday morning, the boy was beaten so badly that he
"Aman used to tell us about ragging but we never thought that it was so
serious. The first-year students had complained to the college administration
recently, but despite that, no steps were taken to stop ragging. We've lost our
son, but many others can be saved if timely steps are taken," his aunt Indira
Dhar said on Monday. She said the body was being brought to Gurgaon where
the parents have been living since the family moved back to India from
Tanzania. Aman's father is still a visiting faculty at the Dar-es-Salaam University.
Indira Dhar alleged that due to severe beatings at the hands of senior students,
Aman sustained grievous injuries on his chest, ears and face. The hostel
manager had asked the students to file a written complaint, but even then no
action was taken.
Meaning of ‘Ragging’
Practical meaning of the word
‘Ragging’ is to tease. It is any kind of
disorderly conduct whether spoken or
written or by an act which causes
annoyance, hardship or psychological
harm or raises fear or shame in a
Origin of Ragging
‘Ragging’ originated in the West, but
subsequently it has reached the Indian
society. For an estimated six million
young students enrolled in
approximately India’s 335 universities
and 17000 colleges are contaminated by
Why students engage in Ragging
There cannot be any general rule as to why a student
ragged his fellow students but according to researchers
some of the common causes are:
1. Hostel life is boring to them and lacks joyful excitement,
so they like to get thrill from ragging.
2. To vent the mental and physical sufferings which they
have suffered in the past and to get sadistic pleasures.
3. Some senior students think of themselves as “Boss” and
they think that cheap popularity can be gained through
4. In many cases hostel superintendant does not stay in
the hostel and students take advantage of the situation.
Common misconceptions about
1. Some students think that Ragging is
practiced across the World.
2. It helps their personality development.
3. It helps to become strong and face
difficult circumstances in life.
4. It helps in bonding between the students.
5. Ragging to some limit should be allowed.
• Ragging problem is most prevalent in
engineering, military and medical colleges.
• The Medical colleges are the worst
affected by Ragging in India.
• Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra
and West Bengal report the largest number
of reported incidents of Ragging
• First Ragging related death occurred in 1873 in
Cornell University in the US. Gradually in the 20th
century Ragging related violence started to
escalate in the West.
• In India, our students inherited Ragging as a
legacy from the British Raj.
•At first it was practiced mainly in the army and
English public schools. During the 90’s private
engineering colleges and medical colleges were
established in large numbers. It was during this
period that Ragging started showing its ugly face.
• Today almost all countries of the world
have enacted stern laws that ban ragging.
•It has been completely eradicated in
countries such as Canada and Japan.
• A recent research shows that India and
Sri Lanka are the two countries where
mainly Ragging still exists.
Substantive Laws in India prohibiting
Tamil Nadu became the first state to introduce
legislation against Ragging in 1997. Following are the
substantive laws in India prohibiting Ragging:
1. The prohibition of Ragging Act, 1996 (applicable in
the state of Tamil Nadu)
2. Andhra Pradesh prohibition of Ragging Act, 1997.
3. The Kerala prohibition of Ragging Act, 1998.
4. Assam prohibition of Ragging Act, 1998.
5. The Maharashtra prohibition of Ragging Act, 1999.
6. The West Bengal prohibition of Ragging in
educational Institutes Act, 2000
Common essential features of the
Substantive Laws prohibiting Ragging.
1. They provide a statutory definition of Ragging.
2. They provide for setting up of disciplinary
committees for taking immediate and effective
steps against Ragging.
3. The legislations declare Ragging to be a
cognizable offence and prescribe punishment
for the same.
• Where there is no anti-ragging act and also the
Ragging cases which does not cover under state
legislation, the perpetrators are charged under
different provisions of Indian Penal Code.
The landmark Supreme Court
With Ragging becoming a National issue affecting
thousands of students across India, the Hon’ble
Supreme Court of India condemned the issue
mainly in two landmark judgments:
1. Ragging of freshers in Thiruvananthapuram
Government Engineering College vs. State of
2. Vishwa Jagriti Mission through President vs.
Central Government through Cabinet Secretary.
Guidelines laid down by Supreme Court
in Vishwa Jagriti Mission case.
1. Anti Ragging movement should be initiated by the
institutions right from the time of advertisement for
2. Undertaking to be taken both from the fresh men and
3. Undertaking to be taken from senior students and their
4. A printed leaflet detailing when and to whom approach
can be made for redressal in case of Ragging .
5. At the commencement of the academic sessions, the
institutions should constitute a committee to keep a
continuous watch and vigil over Ragging and to promptly
deal with incidence of Ragging.
6. Ragging prone zones to be identified and carefully
7. Society to be sensitized on the issue of Ragging.
8. Failure to prevent Ragging to be construed as an
act of negligence.
9. Migration certificate to mention whether the
student ever indulged in Ragging.
10. Financial assistance to be withdrawn where
Ragging incidents are reported.
11. Students to first approach their colleges in case
12.Police not to follow a retributive approach while
dealing with Ragging culprits.
The formation of Raghavan Committee by the
Hon’ble Supreme Court
The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India formed a
committee headed by Shri R.K.Raghavan, former
Director, CBI in December, 2006 to look into Ragging
issues in details by holding detailed enquiry and to give
suggestions on means of prevention of Ragging in
The committee has observed that institutional
authorities are required to make accountable in variety
of ways as their attitude is evasive.
The committee also views about absence of civil
society initiative on the issue of Ragging as a matter of
The West Bengal prohibition of Ragging
in educational institutes Act, 2000
• It came into force on 29/05/2000
• According to this Act, ‘Ragging’ means the doing of
any Act which causes or is likely to cause any
physical, psychological, or physiological harm or
apprehension or shame or embarrassment to a
student and includes:
a) teasing or abusing of playing practical joke on or
causing hurt to any student
b) Asking any student to do any act, or perform
anything, which he would not in the ordinary course
be willing to do or perform.
• Whoever contravenes the provisions, shall be
punished with imprisonment for a term which
may extend to two years or with fine which may
extend to Rs. 5000/- or both.
• If on enquiry the complaint of Ragging is found
true against any student, head of institution shall
expel such student from the institute.
• Action to be taken against Head of the
Institution or the person responsible to the
management of the institution, who fails or
neglects to comply with the provisions of the act.
Medical Council of India (Prevention and
Prohibition of Ragging in Medical
Colleges/ Institutions) Regulation, 2009
• In exercise of the power conferred by Sec.
33 of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956
the Medical Council of India made the
• Its objective is to root out Ragging in all its
forms from Medical Colleges/ Institutions in
Punishable ingredients of Ragging under the
• Abetment to Ragging
• Criminal conspiracy to Ragging
• Unlawful assemble while Ragging
• Public nuisance created during Ragging
• Violation of decency and morals through Ragging
• Injury to body causing hurt or grievous hurt.
• Wrongful confinement
• Use of criminal force
• Assault as well as sexual offences or even unnatural offences
• Criminal trespass
• Criminal intimidation.
Measures for prevention of Ragging at the
institution level under the said regulation
1. The advertisement for admission shall clearly mention
that Ragging is totally banned in the institution.
2. The brochure of admission booklet for candidates shall
print the MCI regulation, 2009.
3. The ‘prospectus’ and other admission related
documents shall incorporate all directions of the
Hon’ble Supreme Court in this regard.
4. A database shall be created out of affidavits affirmed
by each student and his parents stored electronically
and shall contain the details of each student.
5. The application for admission shall be
accompanied by a document which shall include
a report on the behavioural pattern of the
6. A student seeking admission to the hostel
shall have to submit additional undertaking
along with his application for hostel
7. Medical college shall undertake measures for
extensive publicity against Ragging through
posters, leaflets, seminars, street-plays etc.
1. Every freshers shall be given a printed
leaflet detailing when and to whom
he/she has to turn for help and guidance
in case of Ragging
2. The medical college shall organise joint
sensitization program of freshers and
3. Freshers shall be encouraged to report
incidents of Ragging either as victims or
even as witness.
A committee at the institution
level and university level.
• At the level of the medical institution there
shall have an anti-ragging committee and an
• At the level of the university MCI
recommends that there should be a
monitoring cell on Ragging which should
coordinate with the affiliated colleges and
institution under its domain.
Role of student union should be
Ragging is an issue with the students and as it
relates to student community, the student union
ought to have a major role to play particularly in
controlling the menace of Ragging in educational
campus. They should take the role of guardian of
freshers students in the classroom, canteen and
also in the hostel.
Other measures to be taken by
• Freshers shall be lodged in a separate hostel block, wherever
• Surprise visit shall be conducted during the first 3 months of
the academic year to verify and cross check whether campus is
indeed free of Ragging or not.
• The burden of proof shall lie on the perpetrators of Ragging
and not on the victim.
• The institution shall file FIR with the police whenever a case of
Ragging is reported, but continue with its own enquiry and
other measures without waiting for action on the part of the
• Institute authority should install “Free Ragging Help line “ at
strategic points . Complaint drop boxes especially meant for
these and email Help line should be provided.
Awardable Punishments as
recommended in the regulation
1. Suspension from attending classes
2. Withholding scholarship/fellowship and other
3. Debarring from appearing in any evaluation process
4. Withholding results
5. Debarring from representing the institution in any
6. Suspension/expulsion from the hostel
7. Cancellation of admission
8. Rustication from the institution
9. Expulsion from the institution
10. Imposition of exemplary fine.
Awardable Punishments as
recommended at the MCI level
1. Impose an exemplary fine of Rupees one lakh
for each incident of Ragging payable by erring
2. Declaring the erring Medical College as not
having the minimum academic standard.
3. Declare the erring Medical College to be
ineligible for preferring any application u/s
10A of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956
for a minimum period of one year.
Steps to be followed, if Ragged
1. The first step is to get treatment and to tell ragging incident to
the doctor-in-charge of hospital on duty. Ensure that doctor
duly noted the word Ragging in the history of assault column
in prescription sheet of hospital and medical certificates.
2. Next immediate duty is to approach local police station and to
file an FIR. In case student is sick, FIR may be lodged by local
3. In the FIR mention clearly name and other detail particulars
who caused assault and also relevant details of all other who
were present and encouraged assaulters .
4. In FIR describe assault incident precisely but clearly and FIR
needs to be filed soon after the incident as in such cases the
sooner is better.
Ragging is neither a custom nor a rule, on
the contrary it is a punishable criminal
offence. Ragging is a problem of the
students and by the students and
therefore the solution to it also lies with
the students. With Ragging becoming
rampant in colleges, it is high time that
the student community awakens its
consigns to this inhuman practice before
more and more innocent students become
victims of it and before more and more
educational institute are degraded by it.
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