‘Why do girls in hostel have time limits?’ asks Kerala HC

9 December, 2022 | Pravina Srivastava

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The Kerala High Court criticised the state government for giving female students living in hostel, a time constraint that boys did not

The Kerala High Court criticised the state government for giving female students living in the Government Medical College dormitory in Kozhikode a time constraint that boys did not.

This was a question that the Single Bench of Justice Devan Ramachandran posed while deliberating a petition filed by a few female students of the Government Medical College Kozhikode challenging the Higher Education Department’s order prohibiting female students from leaving the hostel after 9.30 PM.

The court said, “The city should be open and should be guarded, troublemakers should be locked up, not females. How long will the students be locked up? How can we argue that only girls require control? Why is 9.30 pm a fixed time for girls in the hostel? Will the mountain crumble after 9.30?”

The Kerala state High Court also ruled that the government must ensure safety of the campus since girls must also function in this community.

“The court will not blame the government. What can the government do if all parents want to lock up their girls? We should not fear the night. It should be ensured that the freedom given to boys is also given to girls. There are hostels in the state where there is no time limit. Don’t those children have parents?” stated court.

The JNU campus in Delhi has no time restrictions, the court added.

The court further stated “The girls who are my close relatives are living in the hostel and studying in New Delhi. There is no control. The nights are young on JNU Campus, and it is alive 24 hours.”

Criticism was seen that the judge hearing the case was opposing the regulation because there were no girl children for the judge.

The petitioners also contested a number of provisions in the Kerala University of Health Sciences’ Ordinance for Recognition of Hostels in Affiliated Educational Institutions that established rigid hours for when students must study and can utilise the study hall.