Payel Sarkar v. Central Board of Secondary Education and Others [ AIR 2010 Calcutta 74 ]

Country India
Category Right to Education, Rights of the differently abled people
Date of Judgment _
Link / Attachment View Attachment
  • Description

    The Petitioner, a student, was not allowed to sit for the All India Senior School Certificate Examination because of frequent absences from school. The Court accepted that her poor attendance record was attributable to a “special learning disability.” A provision in the school by-laws allowed for exemptions from school attendance policies for blind, physically handicapped and dyslexic students but not for other learning disabilities.

    Source:

    UNDP. A Compendium of Judgements, p30, http://www.undp.org/content/dam/undp/library/hivaids/English/Compendium%20of%20Judgments%20-%20Background%20Material%20BKK%20Judicial%20Dialogue%20FINA%20%20%20.pdf

  • Judgment

    The Court reviewed the school by-laws and stated that the head of the school “must make arrangements for special remedial teaching” for children “belonging to the weaker sections of the community” and those with “special learning disabilities or . . . who require specialized psychoeducational counselling.” The Court declared that the current grouping of students who qualified for exemption from school attendance policies was not inclusive enough. The Court held that the “rigidity of attendance should be relaxed” for students with special learning disabilities and others “in exceptional circumstances created on medical grounds, such as candidates suffering from serious diseases like cancer, AIDS, T.B. or similar serious diseases requiring long period of hospitalization.”

     

    [Excerpt from the Judgement]

    "16. In view of what has been observed hereinbefore, I am of the opinion that condonation of shortage of attendance by the Chairman, only in exceptional circumstances created on medical grounds, such as candidates suffering from serious diseases like cancer, AIDS, T.B. or similar serious diseases requiring long period of hospitalisation, in terms of the above-quoted Bye-law, is wholly inapplicable in the facts of this case. This Bye-law is merely indicative or illustrative and not exhaustive. This, indeed, is a special case which brings out an extraordinary situation and cannot be dealt with or said to fall squarely within Bye-laws 14(i)&(ii) of the Examination Bye-laws, 1995. The words, "medical grounds", in the referred context, should be read in its generic form. Special learning disability, per se, may not be a life-threatening 'serious disease', but it is definitely a disability of such a nature which the Chairman can consider as an exceptional one, for condonation of shortage of attendance. The Principal of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Fort William, is, therefore, directed to treat the case of the writ petitioner as a special case, in view of the observations made hereinbefore and forward her recommendation for condonation of shortage of attendance to the Chairman of the Central Board of Secondary Education forthwith, so as to enable him to take a decision in the matter."

    Source:

    UNDP. A Compendium of Judgements, p30, http://www.undp.org/content/dam/undp/library/hivaids/English/Compendium%20of%20Judgments%20-%20Background%20Material%20BKK%20Judicial%20Dialogue%20FINA%20%20%20.pdf