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Sunday, May 29, 2005

Maharashtra Prohibition of Ragging Act, 1999


Thanks to the relentless efforts of a voluntary organisation, Pravah, Maharashtra got itself a very strong anti-ragging law in 1999. Here's how Pravah got it done, in their own words, followed by the key features of the new law. Here's the source.


As a part of the ongoing agitation against ragging, we presented a memorandum to the Honorable State Minister for Education. Subsequently, a Charter of demands and Representation was presented during the last session held at Nagpur, to Janata Dal leaders Shri. Vyanka Patki and Shri. Sambhaji Pawar, who raised questions in the Assembly. As a result of these efforts, we had an assurance from Mr. Sudhir Joshi, the Honorable State Minister for Education, that a Law will be passed against ragging. Later, in Mumbai, on 12th January 1999, we presented him with a letter regarding the various provisions that should be incorporated in the Law. Our efforts finally bore fruit in May 1999. The Government of Maharashtra passed an Act prohibiting ragging.

This Act is called the Maharashtra Prohibition of Ragging Act, 1999. Here are some extracts from the Act:

2 (c) "ragging" means display of disorderly conduct, doing of any act which causes or is likely to cause physical or psychological harm or raise apprehension or fear or shame or embarrassment to a student in any educational institution and includes -

i) teasing, abusing, threatening or playing practical jokes on, or causing hurt to such student; or
ii) asking a student to do any act or perform something which such student will not in the ordinary course, willingly, do.

3. ragging within or outside of any educational institution is prohibited.

4. Whoever directly or indirectly commits, participates in, abets or propagates ragging within or outside any educational institution, shall, on conviction, be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to a fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees.

5. Any student convicted of an offence under section 4 shall be dismissed from the educational institution and such student shall not be admitted in any other educational institution for a period of five years from the date of order of such dismissal.

6.

(1) Whenever any student or, as the case may be, the parent or guardian, or a teacher of an educational institution complains, in writing, of ragging to the head of the educational institution, the head of that educational institution shall, without prejudice to the foregoing provisions, within seven days of the receipt of the complaint, enquire into the complaint, enquire into the matter mentioned in the complaint and if, prima facie, it is found true, suspend the student who is accused of the offence, and shall immediately forward the complaint to the police station having jurisdiction over the area ....... for further action.

7. If the head of the educational institution fails or neglects to take action in the manner specified in section 6 when a complaint of ragging is made, such person shall be deemed to have abetted the offence of ragging and shall, on conviction, be punished as provided for in section 4.


If you have access to the full text of the law, please do send it to us.


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