Delhi HC on pregnant women writing exam and attendance
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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 petitions.

PTI


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


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