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India
22 May 2018

HC denies relief to pregnant DU-student, prohibited from taking exams

A pregnant law student of Delhi University, who was barred from appearing for examination owing to short attendance, was denied relief by the High Court on Monday.

The bench comprising Justices S Ravindra Bhat and AK Chawla said they needed to go into details of matter first.

Earlier, a single-judge bench refused relief to the student, prohibiting her to write her exam.

In context

No relief of pregnant DU student over low-attendance
Student gave birth to baby boy in fourth semester

Short attendance

Student gave birth to baby boy in fourth semester

The student, Ankita Meena, fell short of attendance in the fourth semester as she delivered a baby boy on February 2, 2018.

Her advocates Himanshu Dhuper and Ashish Virmani, while arguing the case, raised fundamental questions about woman's right to give birth.

They highlighted Rule 2(9)(d) of Ordinance VII of Chapter III of Delhi University Act grants maternity leave to pregnant married students.

The arguments

Delhi University vs student: What happened in court

Meena's counsel said denying her maternity leave would "be in grave violation of Fundamental Rights of the Appellant under Articles 14 and 21 of the Indian Constitution."

However, the counsel of Delhi University argued that allowing Meena to appear for her exams might lead other students misusing the judgment.

"Maternity is an exceptional case. You cannot take every medical treatment into these circumstances," the court observed.

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After disappointing judgment, Meena's counsel plan to approach Supreme Court

It's not over

After disappointing judgment, Meena's counsel plan to approach Supreme Court

Though the court did not provide relief to Meena, it directed the University to share details of her attendance from January 2018 and April 2018.

They wanted to know the stage of her pregnancy during which she attended classes.

Meena's counsel Dhuper plans to file a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court, challenging the order of the division bench.

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