//Kerala High Court says marital status no bar to studying nursing

Kerala High Court says marital status no bar to studying nursing

Kochi: The Kerala High Court today held that the condition prescribed by the Kerala Nurses and Midwives Council that a candidate applying for admission into a Nursing course must be single, widowed or legally divorced is highly discriminatory and violative of fundamental rights. A division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice K S Radhakrishnan and Justice K T Sankaran delivered the judgement on a writ petition filed by the Kerala Nursing Students Association, seeking a declaration that the eligibility criteria followed by nursing institutions in the state on the marital status of the candidates is illegal. The court further said that there was no reason in fixing the minimum height of candidates as 147 cm and weight as 39.5 kilograms. The Bench rejected the contention of the Kerala Nurses and Midwives Council that the conditition on marital status was incorporated by taking into account the nature of the Nursing course and also the duties and responsibilities of a nursing student, especially in connection with hospital work. The Council submitted that a person ”burdened with family and duties and responsibilities attached thereto will not be in a position to efectively handle the duties and responsibilities of nursing students in connection with hospital work.” The division bench noted that getting married was not a disqualification for a nurse. Then how would that be a disqualification for a nursing student, it added. Married women would adjust their life in such a manner that it would not come in the way of their educational career. The Nursing Council need not lament on that, it said. The Court also observed that the Nursing Council had not demonstrated in what maner studies would be disrupted if a student were married. The court said since the Indian Nursing Council has directed all the state governments not to impose discriminatory eligibility criteria such as marital status, no further directions were necessary. 20 Jan 2006