Punishment for Ragging

Last updated on Apr 8, 2022

If any student is caught ragging another student, he or she can be punished. Additionally, the punishment can be in the form of:

  • Administrative actions against the student – For example, suspension from the college, suspension from the hostel, etc.
  • Police complaint against the student – If a complaint or FIR is filed against the student, then a case can be made under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) which will lead to more serious charges, like jail time or a fine.

Administrative Punishments

If you are caught ragging, the Anti-Ragging Committee can punish you with1:

  • Suspension from attending classes and academic privileges.
  • Withholding/withdrawing scholarship/fellowship and other benefits.
  • Debarring you from appearing in any test/examination.
  • Withholding results.
  • Debarring you from representing the college in any regional, national or international meet, tournament, youth festival, etc.
  • Suspension/expulsion from the hostel.
  • Cancellation of admission.
  • Rustication from the college for a period ranging from one to four semesters.
  • Expulsion from the college and consequent debarring from admission to any other college for a specified period.

Police Complaint

In more serious cases of ragging,2 if an FIR or police complaint is filed, the student may be punished under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC). Some of the acts that are punishable under the IPC are:

Physical Abuse 

Ragging may include subjecting a student to physical abuse and violence. Some instances are:

  • If a person intentionally hurts someone,3 he can be punished with jail time of up to 1 year and/or a fine up to Rs. 1000.4 For example, punching a student or kicking a student.
  • If someone intentionally causes someone grievous hurt,5 he can be punished with jail time of up to 7 years and a fine.6 For example, beating up a student which results in fractures or injuries.
  • If someone intentionally uses any kind of force on someone without that person’s consent which may cause an injury, fear or annoyance,7 he can be punished with jail time of up to 3 months and/or a fine up to Rs. 500.8 It is punishable. For example, pushing a student onto the road to scare him or locking a student in a room for days.

Sexual Abuse

If someone sexually abuses a student while ragging them, it is an offence. For example, if someone touches a woman sexually and forcefully, or harasses her, or stalks her, it is an offence. Read more here.

Restricting Movement 

Ragging may include restricting the movement of a student or locking him up. Some instances are:

  • It is an offence if someone voluntarily obstructs a person so he is not able to move in a certain direction.9 For example, not letting a student come to the college canteen by obstructing his way. The punishment for this is jail time of up to 1 month and/or a fine of Rs. 500.10
  • It is an offence if someone voluntarily restrains a person so that he is not able to move beyond a certain limit (i.e. locking him up).11 For example, if a student ties up another student to a tree, it can be considered a crime under this law. The punishment for this is jail time of up to 1 year and/or a fine up to Rs. 1000.12

Blackmail 

Ragging may include subjecting a student to blackmail and intimidation. Some instances are:

  • Scaring someone or threatening to hurt him to make him give something of value.13 For example, Ram threatens Shyam that unless Shyam gives him money, Ram will publish defamatory material about him, and so Shyam gives him money. Thus, Ram has committed this offence. The punishment for this is jail time up to 3 years and/or a fine.14
  • Threatening someone, his reputation, his property or anything else the person is interested to make him or not make him do something or alarm that person.15 For example, if Ram threatens Shyam that unless Shyam gives him money, Ram will burn his house, and because of this Shyam gives him money, Ram has committed this offence. The punishment for this is at least jail time of up to 2 years and/or a fine.16 The punishment may be more severe in other cases.

However, please note it is ragging even if someone attempts or threats to commit any of these acts. Additionally, you can also complain on someone else’s behalf. Learn more here on how to complain against ragging.

  1. Section 9.1, the UGC Regulations On Curbing The Menace Of Ragging In Higher Educational Institutions, 2009.[]
  2. Section 7, the UGC Regulations On Curbing The Menace Of Ragging In Higher Educational Institutions, 2009.[]
  3. Section 321, the Indian Penal Code, 1860.[]
  4. Section 323, the Indian Penal Code, 1860.[]
  5. Section 322, the Indian Penal Code, 1860.[]
  6. Section 325, the Indian Penal Code, 1860.[]
  7. Section 350, the Indian Penal Code, 1860.[]
  8. Section 352, the Indian Penal Code, 1860.[]
  9. Section 339, the Indian Penal Code, 1860.[]
  10. Section 341, the Indian Penal Code, 1860.[]
  11. Section 340, the Indian Penal Code, 1860.[]
  12. Section 342, the Indian Penal Code, 1860.[]
  13. Section 383, the Indian Penal Code, 1860.[]
  14. Section 384, the Indian Penal Code, 1860.[]
  15. Section 503, the Indian Penal Code, 1860.[]
  16. Section 506, the Indian Penal Code, 1860.[]

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