Girls have same freedom as boys: Kerala High Court quashes sexist college hostel rules


The Kerala High Court has quashed the restrictions imposed on girls placed by a Thrissur college, observing that girls have the same freedom as enjoyed by boys and held that any restrictions in this regard are a violation of fundamental rights. Justice A Muhamed Mustaque, while striking down rules of the girls hostel of Sree Kerala Varma College, noted that there is no such restriction in the boys hostel and such differential treatment cannot be justified, even if they were signed off by the parents of the students. The Court, partly allowing the petition filed by Anjitha K Jose observed that the management attempted to impose its moral choice upon the boarders. The moral paternalism is something to be frowned upon. A girl is having equal freedom similar to a boy. There are no similar restrictions in the boys hostel. It is for the students whether they should go for first or second show movies or not. This is an activity outside the hostel activity, Livelaw quoted the court as having oberved. The court, while observing that the college can fix the return timings in the evening in order to maintain discipline, added that it must be reasonable and it is only to secure the purpose of discipline in the hostel. That is to say that on account of late return, it shall not affect the conducive atmosphere in the hostel. The management has every power to fix the timings for the return to the hostel. As already said, it must be reasonable and it is only to secure the purpose of discipline in the hostel, nothing else. In the light of facts that this moral choice of the college cannot be imposed on others, this clause has to be struck down, The petitioners submitted before the court that the 6.30 pm timing currently imposed creates a lot of problems and undue hardships to the students. The court asked them to submit representation before the College principal.

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