Creative minds must not be brought to courts: Bombay HC

Mumbai: Creative minds must not be brought to the courts and they must be given their space as their minds work on a different level, observed the Bombay High Court on Monday while asking the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) to consider the 'unconditional apology' of a female student. The student had dragged the FTII challenging the 'arbitrary' punishment meted out to her.

The girl – Gayatri Banerjee (changed name), a student of direction and screenplay writing course, had gone on a 15-day leave claiming that her mother was unwell. However, later it was learnt that she had lied to the college and had in fact went abroad for a seminar, for which she claims that she was the only student selected from the South Asian region.

After learning that Banerjee had lied about her mother's illness, the college initially rusticated her, said advocate Rhishikesh Pethe, appearing for the student. However, the college later assigned her a project to make a non-fictional film within three months, that too, with only a DSLR camera.

Banerjee, accordingly, petitioned the bench of Justices Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari and Riyaz Chagla and further furnished an unconditional apology.

Having heard the contentions the court suggested the college to consider her apology. “We believe that creative minds must not be brought before this court. Such creative minds work on a different level,” Justice Dharmadhikari observed.

“We find her to be an over-enthusiastic student and thus was keen to attend that seminar. However, she was pretty much aware that your (college) rules won't allow her to go as she had to complete the group project here. And thus, she gave false information about her mother,” Justice Dharmadhikari said.

The court further asked the FTII faculties to pardon her like a parent. “Maybe she would understand her mistake when she becomes a mother and her wards would lie like this about her health, then. Let's have an approach like a parent and pardon her mistake,” Justice Dharmadhikari said.

The bench accordingly ordered advocate Neeta Masurkar, who appeared on behalf of the FTII to inform on next date of the hearing, if the college would accept the apology and allow the student to complete her course.

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