Kerala High Court lets down live-in students
Deccan Chronicle| Rohit Raj
Dismissal of girl from college upheld
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.