The Kerala High Court said on Friday (16 April 2021) that if a woman is eligible, she cannot be denied the right to employment on the basis of the nature of work. Justice Anu Sivaraman Said, “It cannot be denied to hire a qualified candidate only on the basis that she is a woman and she will have to work at night as per the nature of employment. Whereas, a woman’s qualification is a protective provision for her job. “
The court overturned the notification issued for the job of Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited, in which only men were allowed to apply. The court said that such notification of the Indian Constitution Article 14, 15 and 16 The provisions of the Factories Act 1948 are meant to protect women from exploitation at the workplace.
Treja Joseph Safety And a graduate in fire engineering. He is employed as a Graduate Engineer Trainee (Safety) at Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited. Treja, 25, challenged the notification issued for the application for the permanent post of available safety officer in the company. It was said in this notification that only male candidates can apply for this post.
The petitioner challenged the notification stating that it is discriminatory and such provisions violate the appointment to the permanent post of safety officer. Along with this, he prayed to the court that the provisions in Section 66 (1) (b) of the Factories Act, 1948, which violate Articles 14, 15 and 16 of the Indian Constitution, should be declared unconstitutional. According to the above provisions, any woman is allowed to work in the factory only from 6 am to 7 pm.
To this, the court said that we have to make the workplace better and equitable, not to deny women employment opportunities by citing the circumstances. We have to give more and more opportunities to half the population in every region.
The court further said, “The world is moving forward and when women are most needed in the society and in the economic development of the country, then they have been engaged in household chores. We have reached a stage where the contribution of women in the field of economic development cannot be ignored by any industry. Women are being employed at all times in many industries including healthcare, aviation and information technology. ”
The Kerala High Court further stated in its judgment, “In many professions, there is a need to work round the clock and women facing such challenges have proved that they are capable of doing any kind of work all the time.” We have to consider the fact that Factories Act, 1948 It was enacted at a time when a woman had to do work of any nature. Therefore, it was seen that women were exploited at night in the factories and violated their rights. ”
The court stated that although section 66 (1) (b) of the Factories Act, 1948 is only a protective provision, it can only be operated and exercised as a protection. This provision cannot be an excuse to refuse employment or refusal to work for a woman who does not require such protection.
It is to be noted that as per Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, the Government of India will not discriminate against any person. Article 15 is also associated with Article 14. It states, “The state will not make any distinction against a citizen on the basis of religion, origin, clan, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.”
At the same time, Article 16 of the Constitution of India has made provisions related to equality of opportunity in public posts. According to Article 16 (2), no citizen shall be ineligible or discriminated on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex, origin, place of birth, residence or any of them in relation to any post under the state.