The Bombay High Court Friday granted some relief to a student of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, rusticated over alleged misbehaviour and allowed him to participate in a film shoot mandatory for completion of his diploma. A bench of Justice VM Kanade and Justice Nutan Sardessai, however, refused to stay the rustication order and added that in case the court ruled in favour of the institute at the time of final disposal of the case, the petitioner will not be eligible to receive his diploma.
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“Any institute can function smoothly only if students maintain discipline, tolerating such indiscipline would result in deterioration of standards of the institute. However, if a student shows signs of reformation, and the actions of the authorities have successfully delivered a suitable message to all other students, then exception can be made,” said the bench.
The bench was hearing a plea filed by a final-year FTII student who was rusticated in May. The petitioner, along with several other students, had participated in the protest over the extension of tenure granted to a professor at the institute. According to the counsel for FTII, advocate Priyanka Telang, at the time, the petitioner sent two abusive emails to the FTII head and actor Tom Alter as well as to other senior faculty members. A preliminary inquiry was held and initially, the petitioner was expelled from the hostel.
He then approached the High Court challenging his suspension and also sought an interim relief by way of being allowed to participate in a film shoot that will begin from Saturday and continue in phases over the next month. The participation in this film shoot, he said, was mandatory for all students if they wished to get a diploma. The High Court is likely to take up the matter for further hearing in December.