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Minorities have right to set up edu inst: SC

Last Updated: Friday, May 21, 2010 - 22:46

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has held that
minorities have a "fundamental right" to establish educational
institutions and the Government cannot put any unreasonable
restrictions on it.

"It appears that the appellant is a religious minority. As
a religious minority, it has a fundamental right to establish
and administer educational institutions of its choice in view
of the clear mandate of Article 30," the apex court said in a
According to Article 30, "All minorities, whether based
on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and
administer educational institutions, in the country." The
Article further provides that the State shall not discriminate
against such institutions even if they obtain aid from the

The apex court passed the judgement while upholding an
appeal filed by Cannanore District Muslim Educational
Association challenging a Kerala High Court decision that the
association had no statutory right to run a higher secondary
course in the Sir Syed College run by it.

The College had sought permission for running the higher
secondary course which was not granted to it by the Government
as the rules at that time did not permit it.

Interpreting the Kerala Education Rules the High Court
took the view that the minority institution had no statutory
right to run the course, following which the association
appealed in the apex court.

Upholding the appeal, the apex court said that apart from
enjoying the Fundamental Right to run the institute, the
Government had initially accepted the plea for sanction but
could not accord the same since the matter was under
litigation in the High Court.
"The facts of this case clearly show that appellant is
entitled to get the sanction of holding higher secondary
classes. In fact the Government committed itself to give the
appellant the said facility.

"The government`s said order could not be implemented in
view of the court proceedings. Before the procedural wrangle
in the court could be cleared, came the change of policy. So
it cannot be denied that the appellant has a right or at least
a legitimate expectation to get the permission to hold Higher
Secondary classes.

"The appellant is a minority institution and its
fundamental right as a religious minority institution under
Article 30 also has to be kept in view," the apex court
observed while quashing the High Court judgement.

Hence it directed the State to sanction Higher Secondary
course in the appellant`s institution from the next academic
session with the rider that the institution must follow the
statutory procedures for appointment of teachers.


First Published: Friday, May 21, 2010 - 22:46

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