Sunday, May 1, 2011

No undue sympathy to students falling short on attendance: Court

The Delhi High Court has come down heavily on students bunking classes saying no sympathy should be shown to those falling short of requisite attendance and allowing them to appear in examinations will lead to total academic chaos.

“No student can excel in his or her life, unless he or she devotedly attends the classes of a course which he or she undertakes. Attendance is a rule and absence from class is an exception,” Justice Kailash Gambhir said, while dismissing the pleas of three journalism students of Jamia Millia Islamia, falling short of requisite attendance to take their final-year examinations.

The students had pleaded for the court’s directions to university authorities to waive off their attendance shortfall on the basis of medical certificates given by them and allow them to appear in the examinations.

“This court has great sympathy with the students, who due to shortage of marginal percentage of attendance would waste their one precious academic year,” Gambhir said, but added, “If any indulgence is given to such students due to sympathy and compassion, the same would result in total indiscipline and chaos, opening a Pandora’s box.”

“Strict views in such cases would be in the larger interest of not only the student, but also of the institution or university,” he said.

The students had approached the court after they were barred by the university to take their annual examination for falling short of the requisite 75 per cent attendance.

Referring to several judgements of various high courts as well as those of the Supreme Court, the judge said its various judicial verdicts have repeatedly emphasised about the importance of attendance, asking universities to strictly follow their own rules and regulations.

“Any relaxation in the said rules, would lead to making a mockery of them in which situation, the students would not have any remedy but to rush to the courts alleging discrimination on the part of the university,” he said.

The court made it clear that in case of exigencies, a university has the power to relax the attendance for two weeks but not beyond that.

“Undoubtedly, there can arise certain unforeseen situations and exigencies where a student may not be able to attend his classes and medical ground is one such exception which can be considered by the universities and institutions,” the court added.

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