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In the wake of the suicide of Sushant Rohilla, a third year law student of Amity Law School in Delhi, an ALS alumnus has approached the Delhi High Court. The alum,advocate Divyadeep Chaturvedi, has challenged the allegedly arbitrary and unfair attendance requirements at ALS.
The matter came up before Chief Justice G. Rohini on Tuesday, who referred the matter to another bench. It will now be heard on September 5 this year.
The petition draws from incidents of harassment shared by several ALS students and alumni on a Facebook page titled “ALSD Alumni Against Atrocities”. The page is a consequence of Rohilla’s suicide on August 10, and the protests that followed thereafter.
According to the petitioner, a 2012 graduate, ALS arbitrarily compels the students to sign an undertaking in the re-registration forms at the beginning of every new academic year stating –
“I have full knowledge of the fact that in case my attendance in any subject falls below 75%, I shall not be allowed to appear in the end term exams.”
As per Clause 9.1 of Ordinance 11 adopted under Section 27 of Indraprastha Vishwavidyalaya Act, 1998, a student is required to have minimum 75% or more in the aggregate of all courses taken together in a semester to be eligible to sit for the end-of-semester examinations.
It is the case of the petitioner that ALS has departed from this specific requirement, changing from 75% aggregate in all courses to 75% attendance in each course.
Additionally, the petitioner seeks transparency in the recording of attendance and allowing students to access/verify their attendance records. There is also no mechanism in place to allow representation in case of a dispute regarding the attendance record maintained by the respondents. Lastly, and perhaps most significantly, the petitioner has highlighted the need of counsellors at ALS to prevent such unfortunate incidents from recurring.