Ban on access of undergraduate girls in campus library of Aligarh Muslim University lifted

Allahabad High Court: While disposing the PIL on the  ban on undergraduate girls of Women’s College from entering the Maulana Azad Library which is in the main campus of Aligarh Muslim University on the ground of its over crowding where the University authorities has now granted the access, the division bench of D.Y. Chandrachud C.J. and P.K.S Baghel J.  strengthened the rights of women under Article 14 and 15 of COI and held that any regulatory measure which exclude women undergraduate students from access to a facility where access is not denied to men undergraduate students would be impermissible. The Court further emphatically held that women cannot be tasked to exclusively bear the burdens of overcrowding.

In the instant case, where respondents are represented by A.K. Goswami and Gyan Prakash contended that the safety of girls moving from their college to the library especially after dark  is also said to be the reason for such ban. Answering this age old issue of safety of women the Court said that safety of women in the city cannot be addressed by excluding women from access to a public facility and places for the pursuit of education. The Court declared it’s the duty of University and law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of women.

The Court further held that women cannot be discriminated against in the pursuit of education as the COI guarantees the right to life and right to pursue the development of the personality. Since now when the university has lifted the ban the Court has directed the district administration to upgrade its level of policing for the safety of women students and extend necessary cooperation. Deeksha Dwivedi v. Union of India2014 SCC OnLine All 11234decided on 25.11.2014

 

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