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Kerala HC questions hostel curfew for women, says restrictions under guise of protection is ‘patriarchy’

The observation came during a hearing on a plea by some female MBBS students of Kozhikode Medical College, who had challenged a 2019 govt order that prescribed a condition restricting the entry and exit of hostel inmates after 9.30 pm, without any reason.

The court said that all forms of patriarchy, even those that are meant for offering protection on the basis of gender, must be frowned upon. (Representational/File)

The Kerala High Court has expressed displeasure over the curfew in women’s hostel of Kozhikode Medical College, stating that “such restrictions under the guise of protection is nothing but patriarchy”, Bar and Bench reported.

The court said that all forms of patriarchy, even those that are meant for offering protection on the basis of gender, must be frowned upon.

“..in the modern times, any patriarchism – even in the guise of offering protection based on gender – would have to be frowned upon because girls, as much as boys, are fully capable of taking care of themselves; and if not, it must be the endeavour of the State and the Public Authorities to make them so competent, rather than being locked in,” the Court observed, as reported by Bar and Bench.

The observations came during a hearing on a plea by some female MBBS students and office bearers of the College Union of the Kozhikode Medical College, who had challenged a government order issued in 2019 that prescribed a condition restricting the entry and exit of hostel inmates of higher education colleges after 9.30 pm, without any reason.

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In the plea, the petitioners pointed out that the condition was being implemented only in women’s hostels and not men’s hostels. The petitioners also contended that the 9:30 pm deadline is only intended to be a suggestive and not a mandatory one.

In 2019, the Kerala government, in an order, had directed all women’s hostels to be kept open till 9.30 pm.

In the same year, the Kerala High Court had struck down a hostel rule prohibiting mobile use between 6 pm and 10 pm. Directing readmission of a girl student expelled from her college hostel for opposing a regulation on use of mobile phones, the court held that discipline shall not be enforced by blocking the ways and means of students to acquire knowledge.

First published on: 30-11-2022 at 17:05 IST
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