Unni Krishnan Vs. The State of Andhra Pradesh, 1993 SC under Article 21


The case was a series of written petitions and civil appeals filed with the country’s Supreme Court. At issue was the determination of the scope of Article 21. H. “Right to Life and Personal Liberty” in Indian Constitution. The petitioner’s argument was presented with the claim that vocational training must also be part of the constitutionally guaranteed “right to education.” Therefore, the same should apply to vocational education judge M. Sharma C.J, R. Pandian, Mohan, P. Jeevan Reddy, and P. Barucha of the Supreme Court dissented and the petition was dismissed. The incident was reported by Mohini Jain v. Karnataka has ruled that citizens have a basic right to education. However, the specific issue that the “right to primary education” mentioned in Article 45 of the Indian Constitution is a fundamental right under Article 21 is not discussed in the above cases.

It is therefore appropriate for the Supreme Court to clarify this issue. The lawsuit is motivated by a petition filed by a private educational institution challenging state law. These state laws have been enacted to regulate tolls in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Some educational institutions in the above states have filed objections and appealed to the courts. It also challenged the Mohini Jain v. Karnataka State precedent. Article 21 of the Indian Constitution was also discussed for extension to the right to education. A key issue raised by the Chamber of Commerce was whether the Article 21 right to education extended to vocational courses.


  • Does the basic right to education extend to medical, engineering or other professional courses? Does the Constitution of India guarantee the basic right to education to all citizens?
  • Does the establishment of a private educational institution fall within the scope of Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution?
  • Does recognition or affiliation instrument an educational institution?

Contention of Petitioner

States do not have a monopoly on education. As part of the rights guaranteed by Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution, all citizens have the fundamental right to establish educational institutions, which extends to the establishment of for-profit educational institutions. Increase. The drawback lies not in the establishment of educational institutions by individuals or private companies, but in unnecessary state control. The law of supply and demand must be given free reins.

Establishing an educational institution is the same as starting a business. The underlying motive is irrelevant. Also, in this day and age, those who can afford it will open more and more schools and colleges only if they seek profit. Because today not many people are willing to donate large sums of money to establish such an institution. as a charity. Petitioners have at least the right to establish self-funded institutions. That is, he is open to raising funds from willing parties and setting up institutions to educate children. Even in established institutions, the fees charged by students include not only the costs of running the institution, but also the costs of improvement, expansion, diversification and growth. government. You can impose conditions on certain student quotas with benefits (you only pay the fees charged by state institutions).

Mohini Jain’s case is incorrect and states that the amount in excess of the commission (whatever the name is) is her flat rate per person. The cost of educating doctors and engineers is so high that private schools without state funding like the government cannot survive institution.

Contention of Respondent

Section 19(1)(g) is emphasized and the petitioner has the right to establish a private educational institution, whether it is self-funded or a fee-based private institution. Rights can only be restricted by law. Section 19(6). States cannot impose, by mere endorsement/affiliation, the condition that a private educational institution admits students based solely on merit. States should respect the wishes of such institutions. The provision of education has always been recognized as a religious duty in this country. It was also recognized as non-commercial, not trading or business. Education is considered the most important function, and when a state permits private institutions to perform its functions, it is its duty to ensure that no one takes advantage of its economic power. Citizens’ right to establish an institution does not include the right of recognition/affiliation. States can therefore impose conditions of approval to ensure equity, merit and standards in education for the benefit of society. Institutions receiving such recognition must be bound by the conditions imposed.

These private institutions perform important public functions that can be termed ‘governmental activities’ because their activities are closely intertwined with those of the government. They are obligated not to charge more than what government agencies charge. Students can only claim minimal operating expenses, not capital fees.


Citizens of this country have a fundamental right to education derived from Article 21. This right is not an absolute right. Courts must emphasize Articles 45, 46 and 41 and determine the content of the right to education in the light of these articles.

All citizens of this country have the right to free education up to the age of 14. According to this, his right to education depends on the economic capacity and development limits of the state.

Fundamental rights and policy principles are complementary and the provisions of Part III should be interpreted with due regard to the preamble and policy principles of national policy.

The Court, referring to the Bandhua Mukti Morcha decision, held that the right to life guaranteed by Article 21 included “educational institutions.” This right to education is therefore implicit and derives from the right to life recognized by the Article 21 recognition/attribution authority. In particular, the admission of students must comply with the rules of merit and merit, subject to reservations under Article 15. Nor does it have the right to charge a fee higher than that charged by state agencies for similar courses.


Unfunded educational institutions should charge the same fees as state-owned institutions, as they must bear the costs of providing education from their own funds and from their main sources, separate from donations and charities. cannot be forced. Only tuition fees can be collected from students. Private institutions have the right to charge higher fees up to the limits set by the system. In light of Section 19(1)(g), education has never been treated as a trade as it is against the ethics of Indian society. It was treated as a religious duty. It was treated as a charity. But never as a trade or a business. The Court has declared that any individual or group of individuals has the right to establish an educational institution in this country. However, this right is not absolute.

Written By- Sarthak Joshi

Lovely Professional University

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