The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Delhi University to declare the result of a law student whose result for IV and VI semesters was withheld even when the University had declared the result of other similarly situated batchmates.
"We direct that the results of the present applicant/petitioner viz., Ankita Meena, for the IV and VI Semesters shall be declared by the respondent(s). The instant application for directions stand disposed of accordingly," the bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice V. Ramasubramanian directed.
The order was passed in an application filed by a final year student of the LL.B course of Faculty of Law, whose who had missed college due to her pregnancy in the second year of law school.
The Petitioner, Ankita Meena had approached the Delhi High Court in the year 2018, seeking a direction to DU to permit her to appear in the IV semester LL.B Examination. She could not meet the requisite 70% attendance criteria, having missed almost 2 months of the semester due to her pregnancy.
The High Court had, however, noted that the position had been settled by a decision by the Division Bench of the court in the case of University of Delhi & Anr. v. Vandana Kandari & Anr., wherein the court had held that maternity leave cannot be put in a different compartment for the purposes of relaxation of attendance.
An appeal against this order was also dismissed, with a Division Bench of the court opining, "There is no dispute that that the Bar Council of India regulates the standard of the Legal Education in the country and the University is bound by the Rules as framed by the Bar Council of India. The learned Single Judge has rightly dismissed the petition."
The Supreme Court also denied her plea to grant attendance relaxation however, vide a subsequent order in October 2018, permitted her to attend classes for the next semester.
In the present plea, Ms. Meena, represented by Senior Advocate Meneka Guruswamy, had contended that the University had withheld her result even though she had attended all her classes of all semesters, and had given her examinations similar to all her other batchmates.
"The batchmates of the Petitioner have already been granted their provisional degrees, and have duly graduated from the Respondent University. However, in violation of principles of equality, the results of the Petitioner are still withheld by the Respondent University, and the Petitioner is not being granted the degree in her LL.B. course, as per law which results in huge loss to the petitioner in her career," she had pleaded.
Dr. Menaka Guruswamy was assisted by Ashish Virmani Aor, Himanshu Dhuper and Vivek Paul Oriel Advocates
Case Title: Dhananjay Kumar & Ors. v. University Of Delhi & Ors.
Case No.: SLP No. 23898/2018
Quorum: Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice V. Ramasubramanian
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