Pregnant Students : The Kerala High Court on Tuesday, 22 May 2016 in Jasmin Vs. Kannur University has said that pregnancy 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.
While delivering the judgement, Justice K. Vinod Chandran observed that the petitioner has chosen to expand her family and can only be deemed to have taken a sabbatical from regular studies; which is definitely permissible and laudable too. But that cannot be turned to her advantage for wriggling out of the terms and conditions of a regular academic course.
“The award of a degree is not a private affair concerning the awardee alone; when it also brings with it the stump of approval of a reputed educational agency, on which the society acts. Personal preferences and individual predilection should bow down to the larger public interest and societal obligations. The petitioner definitely will be entitled to continue the second semester in the next year and appear for the examination after securing the requisite attendance.”
said the Court.
While dismissing the writ petition the High Court viewed that that the petitioner ought to have definitely adjusted her priorities when continuing a higher education, especially in a course which trains her to be a professional teacher.
The petitioner is a student of B.Ed., a teacher training course, and is being trained to work as a teacher, whose role in nation building cannot, but be emphasised.
The Court said,
It cannot be said that merely for the reason of her pregnancy a student could be allowed to sit for the examinations even without satisfying the requisite attendance, as prescribed by the educational agency. It cannot also be said that the case of the petitioner is an exceptional one, since, pregnancy cannot be considered to be a medical condition visited on the petitioner unexpectedly.
The petitioner is not permitted to appear for the second semester examination in the B.Ed. course, for reason of her having failed to attend certain classes, only due to her advanced stage of pregnancy.