Shimla: Waking up to the seriousness of ragging in educational institutes following the Aman Kachroo incident, the Himachal Pradesh cabinet in its meeting held today approved the Himachal Pradesh Educational Institutions (Prohibition of Ragging) Ordinance, 2009, banning ragging within or outside the premises of all educational institutions.
Acting tough, the Ordinance provides that ragging will be cognizable, non-bailable and with the permission of the court compoundable offence. Any student convicted of an offence under the Ordinance will be expelled from the educational institution and will not be eligible for admission in any other educational institution for a period of three years from the date of such expulsion. Such offenders will be punished with imprisonment up to three years, or fine of up to Rs. 50,000, or both.
Whenever any student, or, as the case may be, the parents or guardian or a teacher of an educational institution, or an office-in-charge, make a complaint of ragging in writing to the head of the respective educational institution, he will be required to enquire into the same within 24 hours of the receipt of the complaint, in addition to intimating his higher authorities, and if prima facie, it is found true, suspend the student found guilty and in case the complaint received is unfounded he shall intimate the factual position in writing to the complainant.
Any failure on the part of the institutional disciplinary authority or negligence, or deliberate delay in lodging the First Information Report with the local police, will be construed to be an act of culpable negligence and will attract punishment up to one year imprisonment or fine up to Rs. 10,000, or with both; while the head of the educational institution or in-charge shall also be punished for a term which may extend up to two years or with fine which may extend up to Rs. 25,000, or with both, for failing to implement the provisions of the Ordinance to check ragging in respective educational institution.
The Cabinet also approved setting up of ‘Aman Kachroo Memorial Trust’ with a corpus of Rs. 50 lakh, to provide scholarships to meritorious students and to undertake activities amongst students, in particular, civic society in general, to institutionalize zero tolerance to ragging.