Kerala HC criticises hostel curfew

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New Delhi: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday questioned the notification issued by the state medical college in Kozhikode which barred girls staying in hostels from going out alone after 9.30 pm, while there is no such rule for boys.

“Lock up the men, I am saying (this) because they are causing trouble. Put a curfew on men after 8pm. Let the ladies walk out,” Justice Devan Ramachandran was quoted as saying by LiveLaw.

In the present case, the court heard the petition of a group of female students objecting to the violated order of the Department of Higher Education.

The state that appeared before the court claimed that the decision was made taking into account the needs of the parents.

It is the state’s responsibility to make the campus safe

The court responded that it was the state’s responsibility to create a safe campus for all. However, he noted that the curfew for only women’s hostels does not serve the purpose.

In a previous hearing, the court stated: “…in modern times, all patriarchy – even in the guise of gender-based protection – must be accepted,” LiveLaw quotes.

He added that both girls and boys are fully capable of taking care of themselves; and if not, the state and authorities should strive to be so competent “instead of locking them up.”

The court heavily criticized the curfew and sought a reasonable justification from the state as to why the girls were stopped from even walking in the campus after 9.30 pm. He said that there can only be justification if the reason is compelling.



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