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HC tells CBSE to declare results of hospitalised student marked ‘absent’

The board, however, refused to declare her results saying she had been marked ‘absent’ in the March examination and rules did not make her eligible for the July examination.

Written by Hamza Khan, Milind Ghatwai | Bhopal/jaipur |
February 25, 2016 12:14:27 am

While her battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, is still on, Ronak Shivhare, a Class X student from Gwalior, has overcome a red-tape hurdle with the Madhya Pradesh high court ruling in her favour.

The 15-year-old who was undergoing chemotherapy at Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai could not appear for her SA-II examination conducted in March 2015 but appeared for the Eligible for Improvement of Performance (EIOP) examination conducted by her school Kendriya Vidyalaya-1 in July 2015.

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The board, however, refused to declare her results saying she had been marked ‘absent’ in the March examination and rules did not make her eligible for the July examination.

After an ordeal that lasted for months that saw her writing to the school, the board, the PMO and the HRD ministry and the chief minister’s office in Madhya Pradesh, not to speak of the numerous visits, the family moved the Gwalior bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.

“She had no option but to undergo chemotherapy which was necessary for her survival. Her helplessness to take SA-II examination in March, 2015, by no stretch of imagination can be termed as a case of absenteeism simpliciter. In fact, it’s a case where sympathetic consideration was warranted,’’ Justice Rohit Arya said and observed that the school allowed her to appear in the examination but the board’s decision not to declare her result by treating her absent is “nothing but travesty of justice. Such approach of the board is not only hyper-technical in nature but in fact and in effect frustrates the concept of equality before law and equal protection of law as enshrined in Article 14.’’

Allowing the petition, Justice Arya directed the board to declare within 15 days her result based on the marks obtained by her in SA-1 examination held in October 2014 and EIOP conducted in July 2015. The judge said that the order should not be treated as a precedent because it was passed in peculiar circumstances and peculiar facts of the case.

“We went through lot of harassment and torture,’’ Ronak’s mother Anupama, herself an advocate, told The Indian

Express. “Though I fight cases for others everyday, I know how emotionally difficult it’s when your own is involved.’’

Though a bright student, Ronak could not get admission in Class XI because her results had not been declared.

Anupama said her daughter was confident of clearing the examination because she had done well in July examination.

“We haven’t received any order as yet, and our legal department will study it once we receive it, and proceed accordingly,” said CBSE’s Ajmer Region Director Kamal Pathak.

He said the school conducted re-examination, which was against the rules because she was absent in all papers (SA-II). According to him, the re-examination was invalid and hence the board could not give a mark-sheet to the student.

“The school or the parents could have approached us earlier, before conducting the re-examination, and we would have given a special permission had we known the condition of the child. However, they approached us only after the re-examination,” Pathak said, adding that, “The child’s mother visited us several months ago and we conveyed the same to her.”

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