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No more 'Bollywood' days for student

A Johannesburg high court backs a medical college's decision to refuse admission to the student for a third time.

india Updated: Feb 01, 2008 19:03 IST
Fakir Hassen
Fakir Hassen

College students are often shown in Bollywood films enjoying campus life even with repeated failure year after year, but a high court in Johannesburg has decreed that a South African Indian medical student cannot have that kind of reel life in his real life.

Former medical student Yasheen Panday, who is of Indian origin, took the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg to the high court after the academic institution refused to register him for a third time, in keeping with its policy of not registering a student who has failed the same year twice.

Panday also accused the university of being biased against him because he led a more privileged life than many other students, living in his own flat rather than a dormitory and driving a Mercedes Benz sports car with his own personalised number plates.

But Judge Lettie Malopa dismissed all of Panday's claims, including one that he had failed because the university changed the syllabus.

Panday had reportedly failed to submit projects that would have constituted 20 per cent of his total year mark and had tried to do so after the academic year had already ended.

The court said it could not condone Panday's "irresponsible behaviour" because he had not taken his studies seriously and had tried to shift the blame for his failure onto the faculty of medicine at the university.

Judge Malopa also rejected Panday's submissions that stress, his parents' marital problems and some lawsuits against him were "exceptional circumstances" that the university should have considered before rejecting his application to repeat his studies for the third time.

Medical students have to complete a six-year degree to qualify as doctors in South Africa.