Unni Krishnan J.P. v. State of Andhra Pradesh 1993
|Unni Krishnan J.P. v. State of Andhra Pradesh 1993
|1993 AIR 2178, 1993 SCR (1) 594
|Date Of Judgement
|4th February 1993
|(1993) 1 SCC 645
|Unni Krishnan J.P.
|State Of Andhra Pradesh
|SHARMA, L.M. (CJ) BHARUCHA S.P. (J) PANDIAN, S.R. (J) JEEVAN REDDY, B.P. (J) MOHAN, S. (J)
|Article 21Article 41Article 45 Article 46
Facts of the case
- The suit called into question the Supreme Court’s decision in Mohini Jain v. State of Karnataka, 1992 AIR.858, 7992 SCR (3) 658. Mohini Jain was a non-Karnataka student who applied for admission to a private medical college in Karnataka for M.B.B.S. She was required to pay Rs 60,000 for the first year’s fees and provide a bank guarantee for the remainder of the time. She was denied admission to the college because she could not afford the tuition.
- The management required her to pay a capitation fee of Rs.4,50,000 as a condition of admission. She petitioned this court under Article 32, disputing the Karnataka Government’s notification and requesting that she be admitted on the same terms as Karnataka students enrolled against “Government Seats.”
- Parts III and IV of the Constitution, according to the court, are supplemental, and unless the right to education described in Article 41 is made a reality, the fundamental rights in Part Ill will remain out of reach for the illiterate majority.
- Article 21 has been interpreted to include the right to live in dignity. “The right to education flows directly from the right to life.” In layman’s terms, the right to education is linked to the fundamental right in Part Il of the Constitution. The state is responsible for providing free education at all levels.
- The court ruled that the Karnataka Government’s notification fell outside the scope of the legislation. Miss Mohini’s appeal was granted. The private institutions then appeared in court, claiming that if the Mohini Jain judgement is followed, they will be obliged to close their doors.
- Whether a citizen has a fundamental right to pursue a degree in medicine, engineering, or another professional field?
- Whether India’s constitution provides its citizens the fundamental right to an education?
- Whether a citizen has a basic right under article 19(1)(g) to set up and manage an educational institution?
- Whether the grant of authority to establish an affiliation by a university puts an obligation on an educational institution to act equitably in the admission of students?
Arguments by the Petitioner
- The petitioners argued that it is the state’s obligation to provide education to all inhabitants, regardless of social or financial background. Their argument was bolstered by the Mohini Jain case, which had just expanded the scope of the right to education. The Petitioners contended that the State lacked a training-restraining infrastructure.
- The state does not have a training infrastructure since doing so would violate Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution, as instruction might also be considered a business operation. The state has played a significant role in exercising inappropriate authority over market influences, influencing demand, supply, and free play.
- Setting up an educational establishment is similar to launching any commercial endeavour, whether for profit or not. Schools should be allowed to collect expenses and funds from students independently, and agreements like development, removal, and variety should differ amongst foundations.
- Establishments do not become state instruments simply by affiliating with or perceiving the public power.
Arguments by the Respondents
- The respondents responded by providing an affidavit outlining the state’s initiatives to carry out Article 45 of the Constitution. It was claimed that only children who are 14 years old or younger are covered by the state’s obligation to offer free and compulsory education.
- The state’s decision to extend this entitlement to advanced education is also dubious given that the price of advanced education is much higher than the price of fundamental education.
The court ruled that it is impossible to expect the state to have a constitutional commitment to provide free education at every level for every citizen, whether directly or indirectly through State agencies. When the government recognises a private educational institution, it does not automatically transform into an agency; this is not possible. The guidelines established in Mohini Jain’s case do need to be reconsidered. Discouragement of private enterprise in the provision of educational facilities is not advisable, as this will hinder our ability to develop and advance while also weakening the quality of our educational system.
To guarantee that private educational institutions maintain minimal standards and amenities, regulations on the private sector should be tightened. Reservations for certain groups, such as economically disadvantaged sections, should be made, but admissions should still be based on merit in all cases. Additionally, the procedures and standards should be spelt out in advance.
The court ruled that it cannot be argued that education must be provided free of charge and must be operated in a benevolent manner.
Article 21 establishes the citizens’ fundamental right to education; however, it is not an unqualified one. It must be viewed in conjunction with Articles 41 and 45, which imply that every citizen of this nation is entitled to free education up until the age of 14. The state’s economic capability then comes into play.
The state can fulfil its obligations under Articles 41, 45, and 46 by founding its own institutions or by assisting, recognising, or awarding affiliation to private educational institutions. Private institutions have the ability to charge greater tuition fees as long as they stay within the established limits.
In other words, every citizen of our nation is entitled to free education up until the age of fourteen. After that, his right to an education is restricted by the state’s economic capacity and advancement. Furthermore, the court ruled that while a citizen of this nation has the right to start an educational institution, no citizen, individual, or institution has the right—let alone the Fundamental Right—to affiliation with, recognition from, or grants from the State.
The State shall only award recognition and/or affiliation if they are consistent with the policy continued in Part-Ill of this Judgement and only under the criteria outlined therein. No university, government, or other organisation may grant recognition or affiliation unless the plan is implemented. In addition to any other conditions or terms imposed by the government, university, or other organisation in question, the aforementioned plan shall be a prerequisite for such recognition or affiliation.
However, recipients of help are subject to all limitations and requirements set by the organisations providing the aid in the benefit of the public. The Court thus rejected the petitioner’s Writ Petition.
- Indian Kanoon
written by Nishita Mehta a student at Kirit P Mehta School of Law,3rd Semester, an intern under Legal Vidhiya