The observation of the bench on the batch of writ petitions which was submitted before the High Court of Kerala involving few important questions relating to the rights of educational institutions as also that of the students. The Writ petition was categorized into two parts dealing with issues to schools and colleges, most of the petitions were instituted by the management of the educational institutions and some of them by the parent-teacher associations of the concerned institutions. The cases which took place in schools where affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and some are aided schools. The grievance which was voiced in the various petitions was related with the disruption of the academic activities caused by organizations of students. Whereas petitions filed concerning the academic activities in the college campus by student organizations functioning on political lines in the campus as also elsewhere.
The questions formulated for decision in the following matters;
- Do organizations of students, formed on political lines, have any right to compel students who do not want to partake in their strikes and agitations to forego the academic and other activities in their campus?
- Do organizations of students, or for that matter, the students, have any right to convene meetings other than official meetings and resort to the modes of agitations like Strike, Dharna, Gherao, Processions etc. in school and college campuses for expressing their protests or dissent on any issues, political or otherwise, or for enforcement of their rights?
- The role of the police in matters relating to student unrest in the school and college campuses?
The bench observed that “Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution guarantees to students, freedom of speech and expression. Similarly, Article 19(1) (b) guarantees the freedom to assemble peacefully and Article 19(1) (c) guarantees the freedom to form associations. Freedom of speech and expression, freedom to assemble peacefully and freedom to form associations are the basic ethos of a democratic system. Students should, therefore, certainly have a right to raise their voice against the decisions and actions of the authorities or even to express their resentment over the actions of the authorities on any subject of social or national importance”.
The students forego their studies during the protests until the disturbances and disruptions aren’t settled down. The students pursuing their studies become the victims of the student unrest inside the campus. The bench accepted that education plays an important role in the social and economic development of humanity as the students studying in the campus have a fundamental right for education.
- The decision propounded by Justice P.B. Suresh Kumar.
- Students on the campus have a fundamental right to education.
- Activities by students organisations are affecting the institution and students who don’t involve in the protests either directly or indirectly
- The judgment doesn’t preclude students from voicing their opinion on political issues.
- Education plays an important role in transforming humanity in social and economic sectors.
Edited by J. Madonna Jephi
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje
Live Law.in, Student Organisations Cannot Resort to Strikes in School/College Campuses, Declares Kerala HC https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/kerala-hc-bans-campus-strikes-by-student-orgs-153307