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Don’t Use Force on Children To Pursue Subjects Against Their Wishes: Calcutta High Court to Parents

Author - Hemant Srivastava, Lucknow 

In the recent judgement by the High Court of Calcutta in the case Rahul Tewari V. Union of India & Ors., the High Court gave its observations and adviced to the society targeting the will of the student to study a particular subject of his own choice and not a one which is being derived by the will of their parents.

In the following case the petitioner who was a student of class 12th was rejected by the ISC board of education to get enrolled in the board’s examinations because of his failure to pass three subjects in his 11th standard and English as well. The petitioner was promoted in class 12th even though according to the rules of Indian School Certificate guidelines he must have passed in those three subjects and English in order to be promoted to the next standard. And thereafter the petitioner plead a writ petition to be issued of mandamus in order to stop the ISC to enter into the examinations.

The counsel on behalf of the school authority had presented many judicial precedents and gave the reference of many cases in order to prove its stand that the guidelines and rules of ISC are of sacrosanct nature and they cannot be molded just for the sake of a person, moreover the school also claimed that they have communicated the issue to petitioner in the month of August. The reference cases which the counsel on behalf of the school gave were Council for Indian School Certificate Examination V. Isha Mittal and Another, Regional Officer, CBSE V. Ku. Sheena Peethambaranand Others reported in (2003) 7 SCC 719, Mahatma Gandhi University and Another V. GIS Jose and Others reported in (2008) 17 SCC 611 etc.

While giving the judgment the bench headed by justice Shekhar Sharaf gave his observations regarding the precedents which were cited by the counsel on behalf of the school and said that mere emotions and feeling of sympathy could not surpass law at any point of time and said:

In light of the principles emerging from the judgments of the Supreme Court and the judgment of the High Court of Orissa, I am unable to grant any relief to the writ petitioner before me. Allowing even one student to bypass the rules and regulations would not only undermine the rules and regulations established by the Board but also create confusion in the minds of other students who put in great efforts to secure pass marks so that they are promoted.

Moreover Justice Sharaf also adviced the parents of the students to not to force their decisions on their children to persue a subject of their will but instead laid emphasis on the schools to organize carrier counselling to the students so that they could have the opportunity to get themselves more exposed to the amount of carriers out there according to their capabilities and interest so that they could make the best out of their subjects. Continuing from the judgment Justice Sharaf said, “I would also like to add a word of caution to parents who insist on their children pursuing subjects of the choice of the parents without taking into consideration the capabilities and wishes of the child. It is seen very often that children are forced to undertake subjects in classes XI and XII solely based on the wishes of the parents.” The present case before me is a classic example where the student is obviously weak in the science stream subjects he has undertaken in classes XI and XII. I am of the view that the schools should conduct a counsel session for the students during/after class X with regard to the subjects they are fit to pursue in class XI and XII and the parents of the children should go with the advice of the school keeping in mind the ability of the children.

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