The freedom to choose the college of his/her choice for pursuit of their studies is an aspect of the Fundamental Right to privacy of the students, the Kerala High court has observed.
The division bench comprising the Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice AK Jayasankaran Nambiar dismissed the appeal filed by Cochin Institute Of Science And Technology against a single bench order which had held that students cannot be compelled to continue in a college which, according to their perception, would be detrimental to their studies and their career.
In this case, the application made by the students seeking inter-collegiate transfer from the Cochin Institute of Science and Technology to another self-financing college, under the same university, was rejected by the college principal. The students had sought transfer on the ground that amenities and infrastructure in the college were inadequate and also pointed out that several teachers have resigned from the college and have joined other engineering colleges.
Allowing the writ petition moved by these students, the single bench had observed that the College shall not stand in the way of the students seeking inter-college transfer to another self-financing college. The college approached the Division bench by filing writ appeal.
Affirming the single bench view and referring to Supreme Court judgment in K.S.Puttaswamy and Another v. Union of India, the bench said that there is no legal bar in exercise of such option by the students. It said:
"It is apparent therefore that the fundamental right to life under Article 21 encompasses the right of an individual to make choices and take decisions impacting the evolution of the individual. When a student feels that he can secure better education in another college and there is no legal bar in exercise of such option, to compel the students to continue their curriculum from the same college would hardly be reasonable. It would also fail the constitutional guarantee of freedom of choice, as enunciated in the quoted passage."
The bench also noted that no condition either statutory or contractual, was brought to its notice which obliges a student admitted to their college, to necessarily continue their course of study in the same institution, for the entire duration of the course.
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