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70% Minimum Attendance Not to Be Expected While Taking Only 40% of Lectures: Delhi HC

While health issues pose a threat to their life, students of the University of Delhi are struggling to get permission to appear for exams.

Students of the University of Delhi had always faced a trade-off between health and attendance. While hearing the plea of a DU law student, the Delhi High Court had said that the university should not expect students to have a minimum of 70% attendance while there are only 40% of lectures conducted, out of the actually prescribed numbers of the same.

On Tuesday, a bench of Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan had questioned the functioning of the varsity as it was hearing the case of Abhishek Singh who was unable to appear for his first semester examinations due to health issues, pertaining to Typhoid, while there was also a possibility that he was suffering from Tuberculosis.

Mr. Abhishek’s lawyer, Adv. Kamal Mehra had told the bench that plea regarding permission to sit for exams, with proof of reasons due to which Singh could not attend lectures was already provided to the university. However, there was zero positive response from the authorities accompanied by a warning that his name could be cut off from the rolls.

“I had suffered from Typhoid before taking admission at DU. During the tenure of my first semester, I experienced serious side effects of the same, due to which not only my attendance was low, but I could not appear for my semester exams as well. Despite having medical certificates proving the same, I have been marked zero for my attendance. I am very concerned about my results given the fact that nil for internals would definitely affect my final results.”

– Soumya Suresh, 2nd Year, BA (Hons.) History

The High Court had issued notice regarding the matter to the Centre, the University and the Bar Council of India, requesting their stand on Mr. Singh’s plea. Earlier, the single judge had dismissed his appeal stating the fact that professional courses like LLB requires minimum attendance which could not be compromised at any state of affairs.

“During first semester, I had gravely injured my knee due to which I was unable to attend lectures for over 2 months. I had sent medical via classmates and talked to teachers personally regarding my condition. I was expecting some liberty over internal marks of all subjects and presupposed that my situation would be paid attention, unfortunately my efforts were pointless.”

Shreya Thukral, 2nd year, BA (Hons.) Economics

The bench on Tuesday, advised the BCI and the university to take this matter into consideration and develop a system which could support petitioner like Singh, whose medical condition was uncertain even after multiple testing and diagnosis. HC also sought clarity from defending lawyer of the student with regard to minimum period of study prescribed for the course by DU and whether this was complied with.

The students have always faced the battle between attendance and health. Apart from zero in attendance, what poses the actual threat is the fact that students will not be allowed to take their semester examinations. As they continue to be in distress, seeking justice for having to choose between health and tests still remains a question.

Featured Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Vaishnavi Varier