Court pulls up homoeopathy college for harassing a student

The Madras High Court has pulled up a private homoeopathy college for giving an incomplete transfer certificate to a student who had defied the dress code while doing her internship.

Disposing of a writ petition by V. Kamalam, Justice K. Chandru imposed a cost of Rs.25,000 on Venkateshwara Homeopathic Medical College, Porur, for “the harassment and mental agony suffered by her”.

The college had forced her to come to court more than once, he said.

After completing her four and a half year Bachelor of Homoeopathy Medical Science (BHMS) course in 2008, Ms. Kamalam did her internship in the college. During the internship training, the college imposed a dress code for women internees. When she attended duty wearing salwar-kameez, she was denied training.

She filed a writ petition seeking to forbid the college from imposing the dress code without any authority and to allow her to complete her internship by wearing salwar-kameez.

The court directed the college not to insist that she wear only sari.

It was only after the court’s intervention she was allowed to continue her internship, she said. However, according to her, other forms of ill-treatment continued.

She could complete her internship only in 2010 whereas her batchmates did it in 2009. Even after the completion of internship, she was not given the provisional certificate in spite of several requests. She was not able to apply for the degree certificate or register with the Homeopathy Council for want of the certificate.

She had to file a writ petition again seeking a direction for issue of the provisional certificate. The college issued a transfer certificate but without all entries being filled.

Again, she had to approach the court. She contended that the act of college was intended to cause damage to her future studies and career opportunities.

The college, however, said some columns were left blank “by oversight and not with an ulterior motive,” and said the petitioner could have brought it to its notice for rectification.

Passing orders, Mr Justice Chandru said: “It cannot be said that it was left blank by oversight. In any such certificate, the column relating to conduct and character is most important and no such certificate will ever be issued without filling the said column as they are crucial entries required to be filled. Past litigation initiated by the petitioner could have irritated the respondents. Therefore, they cannot escape by contending that they have nothing against the petitioner.”

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