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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 06 May 2021 6.23 PM IST

Women can't be denied right to employment citing night shift: High Court

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KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Friday observed that a woman who is fully qualified cannot be denied of her right to be considered for employment on the grounds that she is a woman and because the nature of the employment would require her to work during night hours.


Single judge bench of Justice Anu Sivaraman set aside an embargo contained in a job notification issued by Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited which allowed only male candidates to apply for the post. The court said that the said embargo is violative of the provisions of Articles 14, 15 and 16 of the Constitution.


The Court observed, "Protective provisions cannot stand in the way of a woman being considered for employment for which she is otherwise eligible. It is the bounden duty of the respondents who are government and government functionaries to take all appropriate steps to see that a woman is able to carry out the duties assigned to her at all hours, safely and conveniently."

"If that be so, there would be no reason for denying appointment to a qualified hand only on the ground that she is a woman and because the nature of the employment would require her to work during night hours. Such protective provisions cannot stand in the way of a woman being considered for employment for which she is otherwise eligible," the court added.


Treasa Josefine, an engineering graduate in Safety and Fire Engineering was engaged by Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited, a PSU under the State of Kerala, as a Graduate Engineer Trainee (Safety).


She challenged a notification inviting applications for the permanent post of Safety Officer available in the company to the extent it stated that only male candidates need to apply for the post, on the ground that it is discriminatory and that her right for being considered for appointment as Safety Officer is violated due to the said provision.


She also prayed that declaring section 66(1)(b) of the Factories Act, 1948 is unconstitutional as violative of Articles 14, 15 and 16 of the Constitution. The said provisions stipulate that no woman shall be required or allowed to work in any factory except between the hours of 6 am and 7 pm.

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TAGS: HIGHCOURT, HIGH COURT KERALA, EMPLOYMENT, NIGHT SHIFT, WORKING WOMEN
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