A Kerala high court judge has ruled that pregnant students cannot be given special privileges. The court ruled that pregnancy is an option, and that exemption cannot be given for a pregnant student with attendance shortage to appear for an examination, The Times of India reports.
The court was considering a petition filed by Jasmine VG of Wayanad, a student of B.Ed course at Kannur University.
Though on April 30, 2010, the Delhi High Court had ruled that denying exemption for pregnant students is to consider pregnancy a crime, a single bench of Justice K Vinod Chandran disagreed with the that ruling.
âPregnancy was an optional choice and that cannot be a reason to permit a student to deviate from the requirements of a regular course of study, and the insistence to adhere to the course regulations cannot be termed to be a negation of the preferential treatment to women enshrined under the Directive Principles or in derogation of the values of motherhood,â Justice Vinod Chandran said while dismissing Jasmine's petition.
Jasmine was not permitted to appear for the second semester examination even though she had submitted medical certificates from her gynecologist. She had less than 45% of attendance, but the minimum requirement was 75%.
Appearing for Jasmine, advocate E C Bineesh cited the Delhi high court judgment of 2010. The Delhi high court had also said no exemption would be a violation of Constitutional rights such as Article 41 (Right to work, to education, and to public assistance when unable to work) and Article 42 (Provision for just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief).