Court Verdict Banning political activities on the campus
Judgement No. WA-535/2003 dated 26-5-2003
by the Honourable High Court of Kerala
Managements and the Principals of various colleges maintain the stand that they have got a fundamental right to establish and administer educational institutions under article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution of India to lay down regulatory measures in the administration of their educational institution and that the students organisations like SFI, ABVP, KSU etc. have no legal right to interfere with the rights guaranteed to the management under article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution of India.
We are of the view that banning political activities within the campus and forbidding the students from organising or attending meetings other than the official ones within the campus is not designed to prohibit any of the fundamental rights of the students guaranteed under article 19 (1) (a) or 19 (1) (c). it is not a total prohibition of any fundamental right, but only reasonable restriction confined to college campus and the code of conduct cannot be flouted in the name of any other freedom or the rights guaranteed under article 19 (1) (a) or 19 (1) (c). Restrictions are only reasonable and designed to promote discipline in the educational institution so that the objectives of the educational institution could be achieved and wisdom of laying down those restrictions cannot be challenged by the student after getting admitted to the educational institution.
The Kerala University Act, Statutes, Ordinances and other legislations governing the affiliated colleges and the educational agencies or the State Government have not recognised SFI, KSU, ABVP, AISF, NSC, MSF etc. Organisations like SFI, KSU, ABVP, AISF, NSC, MSF etc. are separate legal entities and there is no legal relationship between them and the management of an educational institution or the State Government. They have no fundamental or other statutory rights to carry on their organisational activities within the premises of an educational institution established and administered by various educational agencies in the State as well as the State Government.
The High Court of Kerala had recorded the affidavit filed by the Principal Secretary to the Educational department in the Judgement of the Hon’ble Mr. Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and the Hon’ble Mr. Justice K. Padmanabhan Nair, on Friday the 15th December 2006 - WP (C) No. 22222 of 2006 (U).
Measures suggested by the State Government are to be welcomed while upholding the right of the managements to stall organisational activities of student’s organisations like SFI, ABVP, and KSU etc. directly or through their member students within the campus. Strike, Dharna, Gherao etc. indulged in by students within the campus can also be prevented and State Government and Universities have got a legal obligation to protect the rights of not only the management, Principals and the teaching faculty of the affiliating colleges but also that of Government owned colleges and educational institutions and to take appropriate measures to enforce those rights.