A provision under the Factories Act that prohibits women from working in factories during night hours has been held unconstitutional by the Gujarat High Court. A division bench comprising Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala said Friday that the provision imposed unreasonable restriction on womens fundamental right to work.
The court pronounced a common judgment in this regard while acting on a group of petitions that challenged the constitutional validity of Section 66 (1)(b) of the Factories Act which prohibits employment of women during night hours between 7 pm and 6 am.
One of the petitions was moved by a womens group from Damnagar village of Amreli district Mahila Utkarsh Trust. The group had challenged the provision while arguing that they wanted to work in the local ginning mills at night as it was more suitable to them because they remained preoccupied in household chores during the day.