The Kerala High Court has pulled up authorities at the government-run Kozhikode Medical College for imposing restrictions to not allow girls to even walk inside the campus after 9.30 pm, Live Law reported on Wednesday.

Justice Devan Ramachandran observed that such restrictions were nothing but patriarchy under the guise of providing protection, Bar and Bench reported.

The court was hearing a plea filed by a group of students challenging a notification issued by the Higher Education Department of the state barring girls from going out of their hostel after 9.30 pm.

The court directed the competent authorities to explain the rationale behind imposing such restrictions, adding that they could be justified only due to “compelling reasons”.

“...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.

The petitioners contended that the restrictions had been implemented for women’s hostels only, and not in the men’s accommodation. The restrictions are also beyond the scope of statutory powers given under Section 42 of the Kerala University of Health Sciences Act, they argued, according to Bar and Bench.

The court will next hear the matter on December 7 after getting responses from state government, the college authorities and the state Women’s Commission.