The Bombay High Court has held that the Mumbai University's ordinance mandating a minimum 50 per cent attendance was in the interest of students and thus, even the highest authority in the university had no power to allow any undue relaxation in the rule.
In the order passed on Thursday, a bench of justices B R Gavai and B P Colabawalla also held that the discretionary powers over students' attendance was vested only with the colleges' respective attendance committees and their principals and that the university can't claim to be the "supreme appellate authority" in such cases. The bench was hearing a petition filed against the Mumbai University's grievance cell by a college in Kandivli.
The petitioner had alleged that the university's cell did not take strict action against the attendance defaulters and that it often allowed such students, who did not have the minimum requisite attendance, to appear for exams.
The petitioner alleged that in March 2017, about 100 commerce students were barred from appearing for their second semester exams since they had less than 50 per cent attendance.
Thirty-eight of these students had approached the university's grievance cell (commerce) and it asked the college to allow the defaulters to take the exams despite the fact that they had less than 50 per cent attendance.
The university's ordinance on students' attendance mandates that each student maintains 75 per cent attendance.