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Girls and boys must have equal freedom: HC

College authorities cannot restrict the women hostelers from taking active part in political meetings, processions or propaganda as its the fundamental right of every citizen to have its own political views as part of the freedom of expression, the Kerala High Court has held.

The court struck down the instruction related to the political activity as it was found violative of fundamental rights of the petitioners.

The court also cancelled the stipulation that women hostel inmates shall not go for first and second shows of films. The moral choice of the college cannot be imposed on others and the moral paternalism was something to be frowned upon, the court held.

Justice A. A. Muhamed Mustaque passed the order while considering a writ petition filed by two girl students of the Sree Kerala Varma College, Thrissur.

A girl is having equal freedom to a boy. There are no similar restriction in the boys’ hostel. Its for the students to decide whether they should go for first of second show movies or not. The college can fix the timing for the return of the hostel inmates in the evening, but the timing should be reasonably fixed, the court held.

Regarding the hostel instructions that were signed by the parents of the students, the court held that the rights of the petitioners, who are adults, cannot be compromised based on parental consent. Even if the parent has signed the instructions of the hostel, they cannot be violative of the fundamental rights, it held.

The petitioners had challenged the specific instructions imposed on the hostlers as discriminatory and anti-women.

Source: thehindu.com

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