KERALA

Ragging cases: court orders not complied with

Biju Govind



‘Offenders are granted bail without producing them in court.’



KOZHIKODE: The increase in the number of ragging cases in the State has been attributed to non-compliance with the directives issued by the High Court of Kerala seven years ago.

Most police stations registering cases relating to ragging grant bail to the accused without producing them before the court, as it is a bailable offence under the Kerala Prohibition of Ragging Act, 1998. “However, the High Court in 2000 had directed the imposition of certain conditions while granting bail to the accused. Many of them are not complied with now,” said V.P.A. Rehiman, lawyer of Calicut Bar Association.

He said the 2000 (2) Kerala Law Times 11 stated that “in the case of those against whom a case has been registered and are produced before Magistrate, necessary orders shall be passed regarding daily attendance before police officer.

After two months from the first date of attendance, it shall be twice a week, on Wednesday and Sunday, and after that four months, it shall be once a week, on Sunday.”

In a recent ragging case in which some students of the Cochin University of Science and Technology were involved, the Aluva Judicial First Class Magistrate imposed these conditions while granting bail to the accused.

While writing the judgment seven years ago, the then Chief Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan, of Kerala High Court had also given a verdict that the arrangement shall continue till completion of trial, if any. If the court concerned feels that more stringent conditions, including remand to custody are necessary, it shall be free to pass such orders.”

On priority basis

Mr. Rehiman said the High Court had passed orders following a suo moto case initiated on the basis of news report that there was widespread ragging in various educational institutions in the State.

The High Court also had ruled that cases registered for ragging be taken on a priority basis considering its social impact.

It had also directed that the anti-ragging cells functioning in colleges should take steps, which are not in any way repugnant to the statutory provisions and continue to monitor the anti-ragging efforts.

It had also asked the State Government to examine the desirability of having legislative measures in this regard. “What the Court meant is that the Government should bring in a legislation making the offence non-bailable,” he said.

In a recent ragging case in which some students at Cochin University of Science and Technology were involved, the Aluva Judicial First Class Magistrate imposed these conditions while granting bail to the accused.

As of now police stations are granting bail to the accused without adhering to directions issued by the High Court, Mr. Rehiman said.

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