No place for politics on the campus, says HC

Kochi: Protests and hunger strikes on campuses could be a thing of the past in politically-active Kerala, with the Kerala High Court, in an interim verdict, ordering an end to campus politics, strikes and agitations at educational institutions.

The Bench, headed by Chief Justice Navaniti Prasad Singh, while issuing an order on a contempt of court petition filed by the MES College, Ponnani, observed on Friday that politics or political activities could not be permitted in academic institutions.

The court also asked officials concerned to ensure the smooth working of the educational institutions eliminating all such political activities. "The political parties can not hold to ransom the educational institutions or the right of the civilized students to receive education", the court said.

In a scathing criticism of political parties holding dharna's and pickets, the court also observed that the political outfits "cannot hold to ransom the educational institutions or the right of the civilized students to receive education". "If the students have a legitimate grievance, avenues for ventilating them are legally available". The court ruled that students unions have no place at all in academic institutions.

The court clearly said that the police could intervene in such matters and the students indulging in violence should be suspended from that particular college.

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Counsel for MES college Ponnani produced photographs of a shed erected on a footpath outside the campus that has the banner of a political party as well as huge loudspeakers.

"Police must control law and order and can not allow such pickets to come up on public property", said the court.

The court warned and cautioned the SFI college unit secretary to concentrate on his studies rather than indulging in politics on the college premises.

"College campus is not a place for political stirs". But the two could not go together.

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