Supreme Court dismisses plea of pregnant law student


Ankita Meena, whose pregnancy saw her fall short of the attendance cut-off, missed her Delhi University law exams on Wednesday.
The Supreme Court, to which she had appealed for equal treatment, said it felt “very uncomfortable” to pass an order in her favour with hardly an hour left for the exams to begin.
Events unfolded 10 minutes before noon, when the case was called up for hearing before the Vacation Bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Navin Sinha. However, the varsity lawyer was not present and the court refused to pass an order without hearing him. Justice Khanwilkar, even then, expressed doubts about whether it was too late in the day to give Ms. Meena any relief. Her exams were scheduled at 2 p.m.
Just before the Bench rose for lunch, the case returned to the judges for the second time. Lawyers on both sides were in attendance on this occasion.
‘No time left’
Advocate Mohinder J.S. Rupal, for Delhi University, raised objections about letting Ms. Meena attend the exams. He said there was no time left to make necessary arrangements, like issuing her an admit card.
Mr. Rupal said the Bar Council of India’s provisions on legal education were specific on the 70% attendance requirement.
Justice Sinha empathised with the student, saying that in the morning the Bench was not willing to pass an order without hearing the varsity counsel, and now, the university was not agreeable to accommodating her. Besides, the Bench said the law was not in her favour and she had not applied for maternity leave. Advocate Ashish Virmani, representing the student, said his client had 49% attendance and she should be allowed to complete her papers. “There is no point passing an order which cannot be complied with. Time is limited,” Justice Khanwilkar said.


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