The HC is also hearing a case on whether government employees’ participation in the event is mandatory.

No public funds for Womens Wall event on Sabarimala Kerala govt issues circular PTI photo
news Politics Saturday, December 15, 2018 - 09:30

The Government of Kerala has reportedly altered the notice it issued earlier, now stating that public funds will not be used for the planned ‘Women’s Wall’ event to raise awareness about the government stand on Sabarimala. On Wednesday, PTI reported that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had orally stated during a weekly meeting that state funds would not be used for the event. On Friday, Mathrubhumi reported that new circular on the Women’s Wall no longer includes the section that the state’s funds will be used for the project. 

The Women’s Wall event, scheduled to be held on January 1, is a proposed human chain of women from Kasargode to Thiruvananthapuram, and is meant to spread awareness on “Renaissance values” and the government’s stance on the Sabarimala issue.

Meanwhile, another case regarding the Women’s Wall is currently being examined by the High Court. The case focuses on whether participation in the Women’s Wall is compulsory for all women employees and workers of the government of Kerala, from government employees to ASHA, anganwadi and Kudumbashree workers. The Times of India reports that the petition was filed by George Vattukulam of Thrissur.

While the petition before the High Court states that the circular made the participation of female workers compulsory, The New Indian Express reports that the Kerala HC orally observed on Friday that the clause mentioned in the notice does not seem to be compulsory in nature, and that the government has only made a request to all its employees, and that that is a policy decision. 

The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice A K Jayasankaran Nambiar reportedly asked the government to submit a response on whether it was compulsory for all female employees and workers of the government to participate in the planned event, and whether they would face any actions or consequences for opting not to do so. It posted the hearing of this case to Thursday, December 20. 

 

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