Mumbai: Fakeha Badami (19), a homeopathy student who had alleged that she been barred from attending college as she wore a hijab has now been declined permission to appear in the repeater exams starting June 6 by the Bombay High Court.
Badami had moved court because she had been declined permission to appear for the repeater exams of the first year of the bachelor of homeopathy medicine and surgery course.
A vacation bench of Justices Ajay Gadkari and Shahrukh Kathawalla took cognizance of the statement made by the Chairman and Principal of Sai Homeopathic Medical College, Bhiwandi regarding her appearance for the repeater exams in the winter session depending upon her attendance at lectures as called for under the University rules.
Enrolled in 2016 in the bachelor of homeopathy medicine and surgery course Badami’s petition mentioned the college, affiliated to the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS), not allowing her to attend lectures because she wore the hijab. When Fakeha moved the high court for the first time, in November 2017, the exams at college had ended. March 12, 2018, saw the college make a statement to the court that it was not denying her permission to attend lectures. In a statement in court, the college said that it would accommodate her in repeater lectures which were underway. The Court directed the college in her case to approach MUHS and seek advice on rules and regulations.
On March 19 Fakeha was allowed to enter the class on the production of the HC’s order. On March 28, the college sought MUHS opinion on whether the student petitioner should be allowed to appear for the repeater exams in view of her 6 days of attendance. In an April 11 reply, MUHS stated she “does not meet the mandatory attendance criteria”. This led to fakeha approaching the High Court all over again.
The college’s advocate Sahil Salvi contended that she did not possess the 75 % required attendance for the entire academic session. Fakeha’s advocate Sariputta Sarnath argued that she was not allowed to appear for the lectures. To this Justice, Kathawalla put in saying “how could she have been allowed to appear for lectures with poor attendance?’ Further in reply to a court query Salvi said repeater classes would continue until November.
The judges then went ahead to take an undertaking from the college that it will allow Fakeha to appear for the winter exam if she attends the lecture. The judges also recorded that “the petitioner has also accepted the undertaking” and had agreed that no reasonable order was required in this case.
The medical dialogues team had earlier in the week reported that Fakeha Badami had moved the Bombay High Court after her college disallowed her to write exams due to poor attendance, which, she claimed, was because she was barred from attending classes as she wears the ‘hijab’ (headscarf).
Fakeha Badami, a resident of suburban Bandra, in her petition filed earlier this week, claimed that her attendance was poor because the Sai Homoeopathic Medical College, located at the Bhiwandi township in the neighbouring Thane district, did not allow her to attend lectures as she wears the hijab.
The petition claimed that the college prohibited all Muslim students from wearing the hijab on its premises.