Deccan Chronicle

Kerala High Court lets down live-in students

Deccan Chronicle| Rohit Raj

Published on: July 16, 2016 | Updated on: July 17, 2016

Dismissal of girl from college upheld

Representational image

Representational image

Kochi: Though the Supreme Court has ruled that live-ins are an acceptable norm in  society,  the Kerala High Court has frowned on two college-going adults living together and termed it as a drastic step. The court also observed,  "when taking such drastic step for the sake of love, as adults they should also be ready to face the consequences."  Justice K. Vinod Chandran made the observation while upholding the dismissal of a girl student from Mar Thoma College of Science and Technology, Chadayamangalam, Kollam, for living together with her classmate.

Both, aged 20, were dismissed by the college management and the girl challenged it. "This is not a mere case of falling in love; but two students taking the drastic step of eloping and living together without even contracting a marriage," the court said.  As consenting adults,  they could definitely act according to their volition. But here they could not have even legally entered into a marriage,"  the court said.

The court added  that the management's concern of setting an example to the other students and ensuring maintenance of discipline in the educational institution could not be brushed aside. The  University of Kerala to which the college is affiliated refused to interfere with the action taken by the management.        

The court noted,  "the petitioner eloped with a boy  studying in the same class and was staying in a lodge in  Thiruvananthapuram from where the couple were apprehended by the police on a man-missing complaint and produced before the magistrate who released the individuals to their respective parents."  The girl student submitted before the court that she was  pursuing her fourth semester  of the course and that considering her excellent academic record,  she should be readmitted.

During the initial stage of hearing,  the court requested the college to explore the possibilities of admitting the student back to the college on conditions, but the college expressed its helplessness. "The management is deeply concerned about the discipline to be maintained in the educational institution, which concern is shared by this court also. In such circumstances,  the matter was heard in detail," the court held. It said  that there was  no allegation of fairness having not been shown,. There was an inquiry and the students admitted the misconduct, it said.

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