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Monday, December 16, 2019

Barred from school for hookah smoking video, teen moves court

Seeking direction to Delhi government’s education department and school, the petition, filed through advocates Ashok Agarwal and Kumar Utkarsh, stated that the action has resulted in agony and harassment to both the child and his parents.

Written by Pritam Pal Singh | New Delhi | Published: November 30, 2019 4:09:37 am
The petition, which is likely to be heard next week, also said that the child’s parents were called again and told to “withdraw” him from the school. (Representational Image)

A 15-year-old boy has moved the Delhi High Court claiming that he was stopped from attending classes on the ground that he was seen smoking hookah in a social media video.

The applicant, who reportedly received admission under the economically weaker section category in the school, sought direction to the school authorities to let him continue his studies, pointing out that the current order violated his “fundamental right to education”. The application also claimed that the boy’s friends, who were also seen in the video, were not barred from attending classes.

The petition states: “Sometime in August 2019, the petitioner (minor) along with few friends went to a pub at Kalkaji to celebrate a birthday… It happened that all the friends, including him, smoked hookah and one of them recorded a nine second video.” It said that one of the friend uploaded the video on Instagram, which was brought to the notice of the principal on October 8, 2019.

“The principal was so infuriated that despite regret by the petitioner as well as by his parents, she (the principal) did not allow the petitioner to attend classes from October 9, 2019, onwards,” the plea stated, adding that none of the boy’s friends, who were at the party, were barred from attending classes.

The petition, which is likely to be heard next week, also said that the child’s parents were called again and told to “withdraw” him from the school.

Seeking direction to Delhi government’s education department and school, the petition, filed through advocates Ashok Agarwal and Kumar Utkarsh, stated that the action has resulted in agony and harassment to both the child and his parents.

It said that since he belongs to EWS category, he is entitled to continue his studies up to class XII under the category and added that the “government of Delhi has a legal duty to enforce” the Rules on Free and Compulsory Education.

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