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Court expresses concern over ragging

Legal Correspondent

Reserves verdict on issuing fresh norms



“Committee findings reflect degradation in value system”

To act on suggestion for psychiatrists’ panel in colleges



New Delhi: Even as the Supreme Court reserved verdict on Thursday on issuing fresh guidelines to deal with the ragging menace, it expressed serious concern over increasing incidents in educational institutions.

A Bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and A.K. Ganguly reserved verdict on petitions relating to cases of ragging in Dr. Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College, Himachal Pradesh, and Bapatla Agriculture Engineering College in Andhra Pradesh. These two cases were referred to the R.K. Raghavan Committee, which submitted its report to the court after an inquiry.

When Additional Solicitor-General Gopal Subramanian, amicus curiae, read out the findings of Raghavan Committee on the death of Aman Kachroo, Mr. Justice Pasayat said: “The shocking findings reflect the degradation of value system in society. The entire value system has gone.”

On the committee’s suggestion that there must be a panel of psychiatrists in every college to sensitise the freshers, senior students and the staff, he said it would be incorporated in the order.

When counsel pointed out about alcoholism and drug abuse in hostels, Mr. Justice Pasayat said: “This could be due to over-parental control or no control. Since there was no proper guidance, these students need counselling.”

Referring to a recent incident in the United States in which a gun-wielding school boy went on the rampage and killed several schoolchildren, he said: “Today, we have knife-wielding students and days are not far away when they will have guns.”

Mr. Justice Ganguly said: “The gun culture will come here very soon.” The Bench asked the Additional Solicitor-General and counsel for the various parties to give suggestions to deal with the menace of ragging for incorporating them in the order.

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