The Kerala High Court on Friday ordered the arrest of 12 college students of Kuriakose Elias College, Kottayam for gheraoing their principal and demanding that their attendance shortage be made up to appear for exams.
The court ordered the police to arrest the students, who are all members of the Students Federation of India (SFI), from their homes, as per a report in The Times of India.
This comes just a week after the Kerala High Court on October 13 had criticised student politics and said that dharnas, hunger strike and satyagrahas have no place in a democracy.
A division bench led by the chief justice passed the order.
The court’s justification for the order was that the parents must know what their wards are up to, the report states.
The order was passed despite police informing the court that it was study time ahead of the exams.
Political leaders of the state and legal experts have come forward and criticised the court for such harsh action on the students.
Dushyant Dave, senior SC lawyer told TOI, “I think the court, with great respect, is completely wrong in doing so. It has no jurisdiction to do so. Its action is contrary to law as only on due process of law, a competent criminal court can do so. The order is unfortunate. I hope the HC will recall its order soon.”
The students have been charged with bailable offences and the court said that they could be set free by imposing appropriate bond conditions.
Kerala legislative assembly speaker P Sreeramakrishnan on Friday had put out a Facebook page calling the court’s order on campus politics illogical and irrational. He also said that asking students not to stage satyagraha is undemocratic.