No special exemption to pregnant student to appear for an examination

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The Hon’ble Kerala High Court in its recent judgement in Jasmine V.G. v. Kannur University, held that a pregnant student would not get any special exemption against course regulations in order to appear for an examination. The Petitioner,could not attend classes due to her advance stages of pregnancy and as a result was not allowed to write the exams. So, she claimed exemption regarding the rule of requisite attendance of 70% on the grounds of her pregnancy.

The Petitioner also cited the judgement  given by Delhi High Court in the case of Vandana Kandari v. University of Delhi,  wherein, under similar circumstances,  the Court denied giving exemption regarding attendance, as per the Bar Council of India rules. But, while considering the matter in the light of directive principles, the single judge observed that depriving a pregnant woman to write exams would not only defeat the very conscience of Constitution but will also raise questions regarding gender equality and women rights and motherhood.

The Kerela High Court, dissenting from the abovementioned judgement held that no exemption could be given to any student solely on the basis of pregnancy. Hence, dismissing the petition, the Court firmly held that the Petitioner definitely needs to set her priorities and that pregnancy was her optional choice, so because of her own choice she cannot be given any exemption from the requirements of a regular course of study.

Further, the Court said that this cannot  be the negation of Directive Principles, because choosing to expand her family cannot be used as an advantage to deviate from the terms and conditions of a regular academic course.

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