Once a case was registered under the Act, there would be no escape, as the police would have to arrest the accused.

The primary aim of any student should be study hard and achieve his goal. One shouldn’t lose track of the goal and indulge in ragging and cause agony to his/her parents, opined District Legal Services Authority secretary K. Surya Rao.

At a meeting on legal awareness, organised by the DLSA, at Andhra University ladies hostel at Maharanipeta on Wednesday evening, Mr. Justice Surya Rao said that while entertainment was important, crossing the limits and indulging in crimes such as ragging would not only ruin their career but also cause mental agony to their parents.

Maximum sentence

He elaborated on the punishments prescribed for ragging in educational institutions under the AP Prohibition of Ragging Act, 1996. The maximum punishment could extend up to 10 years rigorous imprisonment and fine for abetting murder or suicide. Once a case was registered under the Act, there would be no escape, as the police would have to arrest the accused. Once a person was jailed for 24 hours or more for a crime, he/she wouldn’t be eligible for any government job in future.

Mr. Justice Surya Rao said those involved in ragging would be denied passport and visa and that would mar their prospect of going abroad for higher studies or jobs. He said that the DLSA had three main activities – conducting legal awareness camps, Lok Adalats for settlement of pending cases, and provision of free legal aid to poor, women, and children and those belonging to SC/ST communities.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (East) Venkat Rao said ragging was being generally committed by groups of students. It was not restricted to naughty boys alone and naughty girls were also indulging in it, he said, evoking laughter from the girl students. He cautioned the good students against getting influenced by the ‘naughty’ ones and land in trouble.

He assured the victims that they needn’t fear reprisal from the perpetrators of the crime and refrain from complaining to the police.

The victims have several options such as an ‘SMS’, complaining to the college principal or the DLSA. The identity of the complainant would be kept confidential and severe action initiated against the accused.

President of the Forum of Legal Professionals Kuppili Muralidhar said the indifference to crime by the civil society shouldn’t be tolerated. There were 44 special enactments for women and they should fight for their rights. Consumer Protection Council secretary P.K. Lingeswara Rao and Lok Adalat Member Prasanna Kumar spoke.

Keywords: RaggingDLSApunishment

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