Kerala High Court observed that a qualified woman cannot be denied employment citing reasons like night hours work.

The petition was filed by Treasa Josfine of Kollam challenging the provision that only male candidate can apply for a permanent post of safety officer at Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd, the job excluded women by citing the need to work at night.

Justice Anu Sivaraman set aside the provision and observed that an eligible woman cannot be denied employment as this is violative of their Right to Equality, Right to equal opportunities, Right against Discrimination.

The court also cited previous judgements like Hindustan Latex Ltd Vs. Maniamma where it was held that section 66(1)(b) of the Factories Act, restricts women from working between 7 pm and 6 am. The court observed that section 66(1)(b) of the Factories Act is a protective provision only. It cannot be used as an obstacle to employment for women who don’t require such protection any more.

The court also referred to the recent judgement of the Supreme Court, ‘’ Secretary, Minister of Defence v. Babita Puniya and ors. 2020 where it was held that the absolute bar on appointing women to command post restricts their right to equality and assumptions based on stereotypes and submission based on that results in gender discrimination which again violates their fundamental right.

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