Moral policing by Court

Two college students,studying in the same class, 20 years of age, fall in love. They decide to live together. They leave the college hostel and live in a rented room. The college authorities come to know about it. A five member committee of senior faculty members is formed for a detailed enquiry. The students are summoned. They admit before the committee that they are living together. The committee decides to take disciplinary action against the couple. Both are expelled from the college.

The girl approaches the court asking to quash the expulsion order.


The Kerala High Court shamefully dismisses the petition. It upheld the right of the college management to interfere in the personal matters of students.

Instead of asking the college authorities what business they have to enquire about where and with whom the grown up students are staying, the court said:

this is not a mere case of falling in love; but two students taking the drastic step of eloping and living together without even contracting a marriage. As consenting adults they could definitely act according to their volition. But, here they could not have even legally entered into a marriage. When taking such drastic step for the sake of love, as adults, they should also be ready to face the consequences. The Management’s concern of setting an example to the other students and ensuring maintenance of discipline in the educational institution cannot be easily brushed aside’.

How will the discipline of a college be affected by two consenting adult students living together in a rented room ?

How can an institution deny a student education because she is in a live in relationship ? This is worst kind of  “moral policing” of individuals by society led by judiciary.

This is one of the most regressive of recent court verdicts.


    • Arun says

      I forgot to explain it in the post. In India for boys 21 is the legally marriageable age while its 18 for girls.

  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    As consenting adults … here they could not have even legally entered into a marriage.

    So does or does not reaching 20 years of age qualify one as an adult in Kerala? Or does marriage require some further standard?

    • Arun says

      As per Indian law a girl can legally marry at 18 but a boy can do it only by 21 years of age. For most other things, like driving or voting in elections, it’s 18 years.

      • Pierce R. Butler says

        I suppose they have some rationale behind that anomaly, but one that would just cause me further eye-rolling.

        As a westerner, I see legal marriage as equivalent to entering into (signing) a binding contract. Do young men also have to wait until their 21st birthday before enlisting in the military?

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