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WP 13478 of 2023
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Case Number: Writ Petition No.13478 of 2023

Date of filing: 2023/10/30


  1.  Bangladesh Legal Aid Services and Trust (BLAST)
  2.  Bangladesh Mohila Porishod,
  3. Bangladesh Women’s Health Coalition,
  4. Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK),
  5. Naripokkho,
  6. SERAC Bangladesh, and
  7. BRAC 


1. The Secretary, Ministry of Education, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.

2. The Chairman, University Grants Commission

3. The Vice-Chancellor, Jagannath University

4. The Registrar, Jagannath University

5. The Proctor, Jagannath University and

6. The Provost, Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib Hall, Jagannath University.



On 25 September 25 2023, the Provost of Begum Fazilatunnessa Mujib Hall of Jagannath University issued a notice directing married and pregnant female students to vacate the hall as per Rule 17 of the Terms of Residence and Accommodation and Conduct and Discipline Rules 2021, stating that married and pregnant female students will not get residential seats. The relevant portion of the news report published in the Daily Ittefaq on 26 September 2023, titled জগন্নাথ বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ে বিবাহিত অন্তঃসত্ত্বা ছাত্রীদের হল ছাড়ার নির্দেশ”. The same news was also reported in several online portals, including Channel i Online, under the title বিবাহিত ও অন্তঃসত্ত্বা ছাত্রীদের হল ছাড়ার নির্দেশ” on 25 September 2023, and in the Bangla Tribune, under the title বিবাহিত মেয়েদের দায়িত্ব স্বামীদের’, বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের না!” on 27 September 2023. According to the said news reports, on 27 September 2023. An Advocate of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh sent a Legal Notice to the Respondents Nos. 3 to 6 for withdrawal of the impugned order. On 3 October 2023, letters were sent to the Respondents Nos. 3 4 and 6 (the Vice-Chancellor, Registrar, and Provost, Jagannath University) and other Universities on behalf of the CSO Forum for Strengthening Sustainable SRHR Ecosystem in Bangladesh (CSO Forum) a coalition of organisations, including the present petitioners and other groups working on women’s equality and health rights, expressing concern over the ongoing practice of gender discrimination against married or pregnant students with respect to their exclusion from residential halls.

Subsequently, BLAST and the CSO Forum for Strengthening Sustainable SRHR Ecosystems in Bangladesh, a network of development and rights organistations submitted a complaint in this regard to the National Human Rights Commission seeking its intervention to review the matter and to consult with stakeholders.

BLAST had earlier filed a series of applications under the Right to Information Act to universities across the country, and from the responses received, found that several universities continue to include gender-discriminatory rules and regulations imposing restrictions on who women students can meet (only parents, siblings, or husbands) and when they can leave their halls, undermining their right to assembly and association, as well as movement. Moreover, some universities still appear to have rules in place barring married or pregnant female students from living in halls of residence.

Date: 30/10/2023


Rule Nisi upon the Vice Chancellor, Registrar, Proctor, and Provost, Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib Hall, Jagannath University to show cause as to why the notice issued by the Provost directing all married and pregnant female students in the university to vacate the hall of residence should not be declared to be without lawful authority and discriminatory. The Court also passed an order staying operation of the notice.  The Court also issued a direction on the Ministry of Education and the University Grants Commission to file a detailed report before the Court by 7 February 2024 on any prevailing rules and regulations applied in Universities furthering discrimination on the grounds of gender, marital status and health status and ensuring equality before law and equal right to education






Mr. Justice Naima Haider and Mr. Justice Kazi Zinat Hoque

Area of law

Articles 27, 28, and 31 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh


Gender Discriminations. Equality before law.

Relevant statute

Constitution of the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh, Articles 44 and 102



Short Note (Summery)

Database Last Updated on: 2023-09-20 04:42:45