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Delhi HC on pregnant women writing exam and attendance

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - 21:44

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has said a
woman student cannot be prevented from appearing in
examinations in any semester on the ground of shortage of
attendance in class due to her pregnancy.

The Court suggested the Bar Council of India (BCI) frame
rules for pregnant LLB students to claim relaxation in
attendance requirement for appearing in exams.

Justice Kailash Gambhir has in a judgment directed the
Delhi University to declare the result of two students, whose
results were withheld on the ground that they were short of
the required 66 per cent of attendance, in IV and V semester
and promote them as per the promotion rule of the University.

"If any woman candidate is deprived or detained in any of
the semester just on the ground that she could not attend
classes being in advanced stage of pregnancy or due to
delivery of the child, then such an act on the part of any of
the university or college would not only be completely in
negation of the conscience of the Constitution of India but
also of the women`s rights and gender equality this nation
has long been striving for" said the court.

"The Bar Council of India, although not a party in the
present writ petitions, is hereby suggested to make rules for
women students claiming relaxation on ground of maternity
relief so that they are not deprived of appearing in the LLB
examinations due to pregnancy," the court said.

The court said "law should be an instrument of social
change and not a defender of it. Motherhood is not a medical
condition but a promise. We all kow-tow to our mothers to whom
we owe our existence and to punish a woman for becoming a
mother would surely be the mother of all ironies".

Justice Gambhir said "by not granting these students
relaxation, we will be making motherhood a crime which no
civilized democracy in the history of mankind has ever done or
will ever do. We cannot make them pay the price for the glory
that is motherhood".

The judgement followed a batch of petitions filed by
LLB students seeking a direction to DU to declare their
results which were withheld due to shortage of attendance.

While allowing only two petitions filed by women students
who sought relaxation in the requisite attendance of 66 per
cent on the ground of pregnancy, the Court dismissed other


First Published: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - 21:44
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