A few days ago, the Kerala High Court ruled that employment cannot be denied to any woman who is qualified on the ground that the job requires the candidate to work late nights.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Tresa Josefine, an engineering graduate, working with the Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited. The company put out a vacancy of a security officer and invited only men to apply.
The court further stated that such protective measures cannot come in the way of employment, and this violates provisions of the Article 14, 15 & 16 of the Constitution. “It is the bounden duty of respondents to take all appropriate steps to see that a woman worker is able to carry out duties assigned to her at all hours, safely and conveniently. Protective provisions cannot stand in the way of a woman not being considered for an employment for which she is otherwise eligible,” the single bench of Justice Anu Sivaraman observed.
As per reports, the petitioner was working in the aforementioned company as an engineering trainee when she heard about the vacancy of the security officer. She was denied the opportunity owing to the working hours, and she challenged this in the court. She contended that Section 66 (I) (B) of the Factories Act 1948 violates the Constitution. The said provision mandates that no woman shall be required to work in any factory except between 6 am and 7 pm.