The administration of the Regional Institute of Education (RIE) Bhopal decided to expel a student suffering from moderate depressive disorder when she requested medical leave for a week.
According to Pinjra Tod – a woman-led collective against discriminatory hostel timings – the administration asked her to immediately vacate the college’s Vinay Niketan hostel and accused her of faking her illness.
The notification, released on March 20, said that the student “has obtained a false prescription from AIIMS.” The statement was backed by the college’s senior resident at the department of psychiatry.
The prescription, as Pinjra Tod said, didn’t have the counter signature or stamp of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). As a result of which, the administration rejected it and added that the decision has been taken “to avoid any unforeseen incident in future.”
However, the hospital authorities at AIIMS subsequently rectified the oversight.
The student’s father allegedly requested the administration to cancel her suspension orders after producing the above copy. He also accused the administration of acting against the spirit of the Mental Health Act of 1987.
The administration, as Pinjra Tod said, rejected his requests and instead challenged the father to take the matter to court. Moreover, they even allegedly threatened to deny his daughter mess food if she failed to comply with said order.
A few months ago, on September 15, students at RIE Bhopal had protested against the regressive hostel rules for women students. The administration, however, didn’t fulfill their demands compelling the students to continue with their agitation.
On a similar note, this is not the first time that a university has expelled a student on the basis of his or her mental condition. In 2017, the administration at D.Y Patil Vidyapeeth, Pune, had expelled a student for misbehaving and creating a ruckus in the college.
According to News18, the Supreme Court, on January 29, 2019, suspended the orders of the college administration after a team of doctors declared the student mentally fit to attend classes. The student is now back in college and completing his graduation.
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