Kerala HC upholds suspension of school students accused of public display of affection.

The Kerala High Court has upheld the suspension of a boy and girl student for their alleged public display of affection in the school and through social media. Although the state child rights panel had ordered the school to take the students back, this decision was struck down by the High Court on the ground that the school principal was an autonomous decision making authority, and there was no illegality in his decision which was motivated by a desire to maintain and sustain the standard and reputation of the school. While the court advised the school authorities to balanced approach, considering the educational aspirations of the students suspended, it was suggested that fines as a way to deter other students from engaging in similar behavior. The decisions of the school authorities and the Court have been widely criticized for encouraging moral policing of students.

Sebastian T. Joseph and Anr. v. Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child and Ors. WP(C).No. 32325 of 2017 (M)