A 20-year-old girl pursuing BA in English Literature from Mar Thoma College of Science and Technology in Kollam, Kerala, who is considered a "brilliant" student having secured 80 per cent in the fourth semester, has been rusticated by the college along with her 19-year-old boyfriend, who is also her classmate.
Why? Because the college authorities came to know that she had eloped with him and were in a live-in relationship.
If that didn't shock you enough then perhaps this will - the Kerala High Court has actually upheld the college's decision and has termed the suspension "correct", reports NDTV.
Dismissing the girl's petition, who alleged that she was being punished for falling in love with a fellow student, the court said, "this is not a mere case of falling in love; but two students taking the drastic step of eloping and living together without even contracting a marriage. As consenting adults they could definitely act according to their volition. But, here they could not have even legally entered into a marriage.
"When taking such drastic step for the sake of love, as adults, they should also be ready to face the consequences. The Management’s concern of setting an example to the other students and ensuring maintenance of discipline in the educational institution cannot be easily brushed aside", reports LiveLaw.
"This (the expulsion) will help in maintaining discipline," professed the college principal, KC Mathew, adding that for privately-run colleges like his, a strong reputation is essential, reports NDTV.
The court even went on to add that the couple's rights were not violated.
As per the LiveLaw report, the couple were staying in a lodge from where they were apprehended by the police, after a missing complaint was filed by their parents.
It isn't yet clear whether the girl will approach the Supreme Court to challenge the Kerala High Court's decision.
Though we are not assigning ulterior motives to the court's decision, we find the verdict really bizarre.
After we turn 18, we can vote, we can drive, we can be directors of companies, but we have no right to be in a live-in relationship with our partner? Is this the message the Kerala High Court is trying to send?
It seems concerned about the "maintenance of discipline in the educational institution". How is them living together and that too outside the college premises affecting the "discipline" of the college in anyway? Or Is it merely approval of an existing parochial mindset? We'll leave you to judge!