Expel those who protest in colleges: Kerala High Court

Expel those who protest in colleges: Kerala High Court”

Kochi: Protests and hunger strikes on campuses could be a thing of the past in politically-active Kerala, with the Kerala High Court, in an interim verdict, ordering an end to campus politics, strikes and agitations at educational institutions. Political activities like dharna, hunger strike and other similar practices have no place in academic institutions, it held.

In August, the Ponnani MES College was closed indefinitely following clashes between students' outfits. "Anyone indulging in the said activities in an educational institution would make himself/herself liable to be expelled or rusticated". "Police must control law and order and can not allow such pickets to come up on public property", said the panel of two judges. "If the students have a legitimate grievance, avenues for ventilating them are legally available". The court will consider the matter again on October 16, sources said. The court ruled that students unions have no place at all in academic institutions.

". if any student is found to be resorting to and/or enforcing Dharna, strike or disruption of academic atmosphere of any college, the Principal or the authorities of the institution would have a right to rusticate them, for these are no means to ventilate their grievance", the order said. "The police should also intervene to restore peace in the campus if the college authorities seek help".

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The court directed the police to forthwith remove all pickets, tents, sheds, stalls set up in and around the Ponnani college campus or in its immediate vicinity for staging dharna, hunger strike, etc., and to clear the area of such obstructions. For instance, in 2006, a Division Bench of the High Court banned all forms of campus politics. If he wants to take part in political activities, he may do so outside the college, the court said.

The next hearing of the case is to come up on Monday.

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