Rajasthan HC: Rustication and Cancellation of Admission of Students Involved in Ragging Justified
31.03.2021 | Education News | Archive News |
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26th February 2010, the Jaipur Bench of the High Court of Rajasthan in Manmohan Machra and Anr. v. The University of Rajasthan and Anr., upheld the decision of the Anti-Ragging Committee and dismissed the contentions of the petitioners against the University.
Justice R.S. Chauhan while passing the judgment said,
“There has been a cancerous growth of ragging in the educational institutions across the State. The menace of ragging has claimed the lives of many young men, and has psychologically destroyed others. It is an act which needs to be dealt with by the law.”
The petitioners were 3rd-year students in the B.Sc. stream at the Maharaja College, University of Rajasthan. Criminal cases were filed, FIR’s were registered against them and they were sent a letter informing them of their rustication from the college. A few days later, they were sent another letter informing them about the cancellation of their admissions upon the investigation by the Anti-Ragging Committee of the college.
Aggrieved by these orders of the College, the petitioners approached the High Court. They argued that the action was not justified as the State of Rajasthan had no exclusive laws against the offense of ragging and the action of rusticating and canceling the admissions of the petitioners was arbitrary where they were not given an opportunity to be heard thus violating principles of natural justice.
The respondents contended that whether or not the criminal cases were false or genuine could not be decided in its writ jurisdiction by the Court. It was something that needed to be scrutinized and tried by the Trial Court. They further contended that although the State of Rajasthan had no anti-ragging Act, Ordinance 88 of the University of Rajasthan permits it to take actions such as rustication and cancellation of admission of a student.
The respondents also made known before the Court the fact that the petitioners had not in fact approached the Court with clean hands and that some facts were hidden from the Court by the petitioners. Some of those facts were that the petitioners were in fact given an opportunity to be heard before the anti-ragging committee. After much investigation and questioning, it was concluded that the petitioners had indulged in several undisciplined activities on various occasions. Following this, the decision to rusticate them and cancel their admissions was taken.
The High Court after listening to the arguments expressed its views on the duty of the educational institutions in such matters saying:
“Educational institutions are temples of learning. In educational institutions, students are not only educated, but they also learn about life in general. In the temples of learning, sanctity, discipline, decorum, and serenity have to be maintained. Students are expected to excel in their studies and to perform well in their extra-curricular activities. They are expected to train and discipline their mind and body. No educational institution can permit its students to be rowdy, to be undisciplined, and to be uncouth.”
The Court reading the provisions under Ordinance 88 of the University of Rajasthan acknowledged the right of the respondents to act by the power conferred upon them by virtue of Ordinance 88 and added:
“The power has to be exercised in a fair and reasonable manner and not in a malicious, whimsical, or capricious manner. Thus, the contention raised by the learned counsel for the petitioners that since there is no law against anti-ragging, the respondents are not empowered to rusticate and to cancel the petitioners’ admissions, the said contention is unacceptable.”
The Court additionally justified the decision of the Anti-Ragging Committee since the petitioners had not approached the Court with clean hands and had a history of indulging in undisciplined actions. Thus, their contention of the decision of the University being in violation of the principles of natural justice was dismissed.
In conclusion of the judgment, the Court found the writ petition devoid of merit thus dismissed it while stating,
“While other states such as Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka have enacted laws against ragging, the State of Rajasthan has yet to do so. Therefore, the Government is requested to consider the feasibility of enacting an Anti-Ragging Act for the State. A copy of this judgment shall be sent forthwith to the Chief Secretary, Home Secretary, and to the Hon’ble Law Minister for their due consideration of the recommendation made by this Court.”
Angel Nair | Research Intern | EduLegaL
Webinar on Anti- Ragging Complaints – Inquiry Procedure and Compliance
As a socio-legal initiative aimed at creating awareness about procedure and compliance involved in inquiring into anti-ragging complaints, EduLegaL in association with Aman Movement is organizing a Webinar on 3rd April 2021, encompassing aspects of ‘Anti-Ragging Laws’, ‘Procedure to Inquire into Complaints’, ‘Compliance’ and ‘Report Writing’.
Register for the Webinar by filling the Webinar Form.
To know more about the Webinar, please visit: https://www.edulegal.org/blog/webinar2/