Maternity test for DU rule on attendance

Supreme Court. Picture by Prem Singh

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will on Wednesday examine whether a second-year Delhi University law student who couldn't attend classes because of her pregnancy can be barred from writing her exams for not having the required minimum attendance.

Ankita Meena, who gave birth to a boy in February this year, lacks the required 70 per cent that the Bar Council of India has fixed as the minimum attendance required if one has to take exams. The BCI is the regulatory body for advocates and legal education in the country.

The bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Navin Sinha agreed to take up the petition for urgent consideration after an advocate who appeared for the student challenged Delhi High Court's concurrent orders declining her any interim relief.

On Monday, the high court bench of Justices S. Ravindra Bhat and A.K. Chawla had refused to grant the student any interim relief but asked the university to file a response on her petition.

A single-judge bench of the high court had last week refused to interfere with Rule 12 of the Rules of Legal Education the BCI has framed laying down the minimum attendance needed for appearing for exams.

That prompted the student to move the top court as her fourth semester exams start next month.

The petitioner said she had 86 per cent attendance in the third semester despite being pregnant but couldn't come to class regularly during the fourth semester as she was in an advanced stage of pregnancy and delivered a boy on February 2.


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