Kerala HC: What’s the benefit of locking up girls by 9.30pm?

The counsel for Kerala Women’s Commission submitted that the timing should apply to hostels of men and women.

Published: 08th December 2022 06:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th December 2022 06:20 AM   |  A+A-

Kerala High Court

Kerala High Court (File Photo| A Sanesh, EPS)

By Express News Service

KOCHI: Taking up a petition filed against Kozhikode Medical College Hospital (MCH) for barring girl students from stepping out of the hostel after 9.30pm, the Kerala High Court on Wednesday asked the state what benefit would girls get by getting locked up by 9.30pm.

“Some other medical colleges in Kerala and higher educational institutions such as the IIT Palakkad and IIM Kozhikode have not imposed such restrictions. Nothing bad is happening in the hostels there. Rules are relaxed for male students, giving the impression that girls are the cause of all concern,” the court said.

The court made the observation after the government submitted that a new order on the timing of all MCH hostels will be issued soon. The state said it intends to think over the issue and come out with a comprehensive order or proceedings. It also sought a week’s time.

The counsel for Kerala Women’s Commission submitted that the timing should apply to hostels of men and women.

Justice Devan Ramachandran said, “I cannot rush into any decision as the concerns of parents and other stakeholders are vital. It requires proper assessment.”

Go to JNU, its campus is alive 24 hours: HC

The Kerala University of Health Sciences said some restriction was required within the campus to maintain discipline. The court said the government and other stakeholders, including the university, must evaluate these aspects and inform the court

The court also said the hostel was within the campus. “If girl students are not safe on campus, it gives the impression that the campus is not safe at night. If students are being told that they cannot go out at night, why is the government trying to promote night walking for women? Such actions remain only as tokenism,” said the court.

“Our society still views the time after 8.30pm as dangerous. We are talking about New Kerala and should not be led by archaic notions. Go to the JNU campus. The nights there are young and alive 24 hours,” the court said.

Henna Hanan, the general secretary of the Kozhikode MCH students union and part of the students’ #breakthecurfew Azadi protest, said the government order they received on Wednesday lacked clarity. “We are eagerly awaiting the court order. The entry and exit of only girls is being restricted even though the government order applies to men’s hostel too,” she said.

“We don’t think the restrictions as per the new order will be imposed without discrimination,” she said. She also said the government mentioned that the petition filed by SFI on the issue was considered and not theirs. “It is baseless,” she said.

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