Supreme Court Grants Interim Relief to DU Law Student Denied Attendance Relaxation For Pregnancy
File image of the Supreme Court of India | (Photo Credits: PTI)

New Delhi, October 6: The Supreme Court has granted interim relief to a Delhi University law student who was denied permission to write semester II exams due to lack of attendance. The petitioner, Ankita Meena, had failed to attend the mandatory 70 per cent of the lectures as she was pregnant.

A bench of Justices KM Joseph and AM Khanwilkar ordered the varsity to allow Meena to attend the ongoing classes of Semester IV. It has also asked the DU officials to respond to why the student was barred from writing the second semester examinations. Uttarakhand High Court Declares Government Rule Denying Maternity Leave for Third Child Unconstitutional.

The petitioner's counsel argued before the top court that Rule 2 (9) (d) of Ordinance VII of Chapter III of Delhi University allows a married student to seek relaxation of attendance on grounds of pregnancy.

"In the case of a married woman student who is granted maternity leave, in calculating the total number of lectures delivered in the College or in the University, as the case may be, for her course of study in each academic year, the number of lecture in each subject delivered during the period of her maternity leave shall not be taken into account," the petition quoted the ordinance as saying.

The relief for Meena came months after the Delhi High Court, while hearing her plea in May this year, rejected the same citing the strict academic rules framed by the Bar Council of India.

Sine LLB is a "professional course", it has to meet the guidelines laid down by the Bar, the single-judge bench of the Delhi HC had said. An appeal against the order was dismissed by the Division Bench of the court, asserting that the "University is bound by the rules as framed by the Bar Council".