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Report No. 165

3.3. Extent of 'right to education' in Unnikrishnan's case.-

The Constitution Bench in Unnikrishnan's case1 curtailed the parameters of the right of education by holding:

"180. (1) The citizens of this country have a fundamental right to education. The said right flows from Article 21. This right is however, not an absolute right. Its content and parameters have to be determined in the light of Articles 45 and 41. In other words every child/citizen of this country has a right to free education until he completes the age of fourteen years. Thereafter his right to education is subject to the limit of economic capacity and development of the State."

1. Unnikrishnan J.P. v. State of Andhra Pradesh, AIR 1993 SC 2178 (Constitution Bench).

3.4. Again in the case of University of Delhi v. Shri Anand Vardhan Chandal, 1998 (5) SCALE 23, the Constitution Bench reiterated the decision in the Unnikrishnan' J.P. v. State of Andhra Pradesh by holding-

"2. there is, therefore, no dispute that the right to education is a fundamental right to the extent it has been spelt out by the Constitution Bench in Unnikrishnan's case."

3.5. In Bandhua Mukti Morcha1, the Supreme Court had held that the Right t Life guaranteed by Article 21 does take in "educational facilities". In Unnikrishnan J.P.2, it observed that having regard to the fundamental significance of education to the life of an individual and the nation, and adopting the reasoning and logic of the earlier decisions of the court, it agreed with the statement in Bandhua Mukti Morcha, that the right to education is implicit in and flows from the right to life guaranteed by Article 21; further the right to education has been treated, as one of transcendental importance in the life of an individual and this has been recognised not only in this country since thousands of years, but all over the world.

1. Bandhua Mukti Morcha v. Union of India, AIR 1984 SC 802.

2. Unnikrishnan J.P. v. State of Andhra Pradesh, AIR 1993 SC 2178 (Constitution Bench).



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