Order banning women from working in liquor shops is unconstitutional and unsustaianble

KeralaHC

Kerala High Court: In a petition challenging the constitutional validity of certain provisions in the Kerala Abkari Shops Disposal Rules, 2002 which prohibited women from being employed in any capacity in a toddy or foreign liquor shop, the Single Bench of Anu Sivaraman, J. held that orders to the effect that women cannot be engaged to work in foreign liquor shops are violative of Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution  and are therefore unsustainable.

It was the case of the petitioners that they had participated in selection and had been included in the ranked list for appointment to the post of peon/helper in the Kerala State Beverages (Manufacturing & Marketing) Corporation Ltd. However, certain provisions in the Rules to the effect that women will not be entitled to appointment in liquor shops disentitled them from getting jobs despite vacancies in shops only on the grounds of gender, which is violative of the mandate of Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution.

The Court, relying on a number of cases where such discrimination was held to be irrational, unjust and unfair and militated against the guarantee of equality held that every citizen was entitled to equal opportunity of consideration in the matter of employment and any restriction thereon on the ground of sex would violate Articles 14 and 15  and struck down the order of the State Government holding it to be unconstitutional and unsustainable, paving the way for the appointment of the petitioners in the respective jobs. [Sanuja. B v. Kerala State Beverages Corporation Ltd., 2016 SCC OnLine Ker 28105, decided on 13.12.2016]

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