KOCHI: “Do you repent?,” the court asked the 10 students of Indira Gandhi College of Science and Technology, Mambaram, who were accused of ragging and was sentenced to community service.
The second year BCom and BBA students, who were standing near the Judge’s chamber, had a confused look on their faces. Clueless what the question meant, one of them replied “No.”
This was not what Justice B Sudheendra Kumar expected to receive in reply. Taken aback, the court and asked whether they knew what the word repent meant? Still more confused look prompted the judge to translate the word into Malayalam. Then it dawned on the students what court meant and the students replied in one voice “Yes we do.”
They then admitted ragging was a crime and that they will never get involved in it.Though they were suspended from the college soon after the incident came to light, the Kannur University permitted them to attend the semester exam.
Assuming the role of a caring elderly, the judge told the students that getting involved in a crime during college days could affect their future. “It will pose a hurdle when you chase your ambition. You will not be able to land a good job. So never ever get involved in a crime. In many cases, ragging has resulted in death and there are victims who are still unable to recover from the mental trauma,” the court advised them.
The court then counselled the parents. Mothers of six students and fathers of four others appeared before the court. The court said it was the responsibility of the parents to instil moral values in their wards. “If your children commit a mistake you should correct them,” the court said.
Justice Sudheendra Kumar cited a case he came across early on in his career while serving as the Sessions Judge in Thiruvananthapuram.The accused person was the son of a college professor who was working abroad. Since the accused’s parents had no time to look after him, the youth got involved in four murder cases. This clearly demonstrates the importance of parental care, Justice Sudheendra Kumar said.