Lucknow: Three Class
12 students have won a major battle against their school and the
powerful Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CICSE)
in the Supreme Court.
After a five-month-long ordeal, the students - Faraz Talha,
Eishaan Singh and Shreshtra Mishra of the prestigious St Francis
College and their parents won the legal battle earlier this week.
The apex court quashed a special leave petition (SLP) of the
Council against the students, whom the school authorities tried
best to deny a chance to appear in the board exams earlier this
The three students, all budding cricketers playing for the college
team, were told two days before beginning of the exams Feb 14,
2012, through a speed post notice, that they could not appear in
the exams as they fell short of the 60 percent attendance needed.
The parents and the students were aghast as they had regularly
been attending classes.
Questioning the decision, they forced the college management to
show them the attendance register only to find that they were
marked absent when they were playing for their school in cricket
tournaments in April, October and November 2011.
"This was simply crazy and we could make nothing out of the school
order," Faraz, the college cricket team captain, told IANS.
His mother and senior journalist Kulsum Talha said the past five
months had been simple terrible.
Recalling how she and other affected parents, through court
orders, had managed to ensure that their children could give the
exams, she faulted the college administration and also the
council, which rather than being "accesible and sympathetic" to
them, chose to take on them through the legal route.
"It is shocking that while all through the five months the CISCE
officials remained out of our reach and did not care for the
future and careers of these three kids, they woke up when the
Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court in its April 13, 2012
order slammed the college for its conduct," she said.
While the college withdrew from the legal battle thereafter, the
Council then filed the petition in the apex court, challenging the
high court order slamming the college and validating the view
point of the students.
After the apex court's dismissal of the petition, the students and
parents are demanding that action be taken against the college for
playing with the lives of the students.
Calling for suspension of Derek Jackson, the class teacher
concerned for "purposely marking less attendance", the parents
have also demanded that college principal Father Denis Naresh Lobo
be removed for "not making adequate enquiries before pressing the
charge of attendance shortage and before spearheading the campaign
against students causing mental agony".