KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Friday directed the state government to clarify whether the government employees and Asha, Anganwadi and Kudumbashree workers will be compelled to participate in the Women's wall scheduled to be held on January 1.
The court also asked the state to explain if the government will initiate penal action in case they are not willing to participate.
The government decided to organise the women wall to protect the values of social transformation, renaissance and gender equality.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice A K Jayasankaran Nambiar issued the interim order on the petition filed by George Vattakulam, president of Malayalavedi, Thrissur, seeking to quash the government order (GO). The petitioner submitted the order was compulsory in nature and thus illegal.
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A clause in the order stated all government departments should involve themselves in organising and participating in the event. The department heads should request the participation of Asha workers, Anganwadi workers and helpers, MGNREGS workers, public representatives, Kudumbashree members, women cooperative societies and public sector units.
The government will compel the employees to participate in the formation of the wall, he submitted.
However, the court observed it could not see any compulsive nature in the order. When the case came up for hearing, senior government pleader P Narayanan submitted there was no such compulsion as alleged by the petitioner in the case.
The government has only made a request to all the employees and it was a policy decision. The court posted the case to Thursday.
Meanwhile, advocate D B Binu also filed a petition seeking a directive to restrain the government from using public funds for the proposed statewide campaign. The government is spending a huge amount
at a time when the state is facing a financial crunch in the post-Ockhi and flood scenario. The reconstruction of the flood-devastated state is a herculean task. While the need of the hour is to undertake a campaign to provide relief to the victims, a strange effort is being made by the government to spend public funds for women's wall and campaign on renaissance and social reformation, he submitted.