Advocate Mrs. Meera Kaura Patel (Legal Head)
Apart from her flourishing legal practice as a litigating lawyer, Mrs. Patel has been associated with SAVE as an Honorary Legal Head for the last eight years. Since her association with SAVE, she has played multiple roles in the organisation, including but not limited to creating awareness amongst necessary stakeholders and victims about ragging and ragging related regulations/laws by speaking at various conferences, counselling, guiding and representing victims of ragging, initiating legal proceedings against errant production houses/TV programs that eulogised acts of ragging, guiding and supervising volunteers on legal aspects who are responsible for filing RTIs and who are counselling victims on a regular basis, etc.
Mrs. Patel’s eight year’s journey with SAVE has been very difficult as well as inspiring. In her initial years, she was responsible for issuing legal notices to and filing various complaints with the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting against various TV Channels in relation to some TV shows which exhibited behaviours similar to ragging. Her relentless campaign against a chocolate giant and against a reputed production house for an advertisement that somewhat eulogised the concept of ‘Ragging’ in hostel life, ultimately led to removal of that advertisement from Indian television through intervention of Advertising Standards Council of India.
After the enactment of UGC Regulations on Curbing the Menace of Ragging, 2009, Mrs. Patel has counselled various victims and owing to her active involvement with the cases, she is mindful of the various lacunas that exist in the UGC Regulations as well as various other state legislations on the subject of ragging. As such, she even filed a Public Interest Litigation in the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in 2014, which unfortunately the Hon’ble Court did not entertain at that time in view of the existing legal framework. She intends to again approach the Hon’ble Supreme Court in future when the time is ripe.
Mrs. Patel is an expert on laws & regulations relating to ragging and as such, she is frequently invited to seminars and conferences aimed at educating various stakeholders like fresher students, senior students, university staff, faculty, heads of institutions, etc. She was recently invited by National Human Rights Commission as a panel expert speaker at an anti-ragging program organised in Kochi, Kerala [link]. She very recently enlightened many students as a technical panel speaker in a conference organised by Govt. Women Engineering College, Ajmer, Rajasthan, which was also attended by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Deepak Maheshwari, High Court of Rajasthan.
Owing to her active involvement for the cause of Ragging, Mrs. Patel has also been covered by a lot of news channels and newspapers, some of them being the Times of India [example 1] [example 2] , the Deccan herald [example], the Telegraph India [example], the Indian Express [example], etc.
She has been quoted as follows:
“Not only is our attitude towards ragging complacent, our laws too on this menace are slack. Lawyer Meera Kaura Patel says, “In the absence of a central law, the accused are booked under milder sections of the IPC like causing hurt and wrongful restraint.”
Also,” she continues, “Strict action needs to be taken against institutions where incidents of ragging are routine. ”
Chamber: 126, Lawyers’ Chambers, R.K. Jain Block,
Supreme Court of India, New Delhi – 110001.
Law Offices: B 343, New Friends Colony, Delhi.