Right to receive aid from Govt. is not a fundamental right, says Supreme Court

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admin November 9, 2021
Updated 2021/11/09 at 1:34 PM

The right of an institution to receive government assistance, whether it is administered by a majority or minority group, is not a fundamental right. The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that all parties must adhere to the aid’s terms and conditions equally.

“All requirements that have significance to the appropriate use of the grant-in-aid by an educational institution may be imposed, whether it is an institution controlled by the majority or the minority. “All that Article 30(2) states is that if other educational institutions are entitled to receive aid, grant of aid to that educational institution cannot be discriminated against because it is managed by a minority, whether based on religion or language,” a Bench of Justices S.K. Kaul and M.M. Sundresh said, referring to the Supreme Court’s landmark T.M.A Pai’s judgement.

The Court emphasised that if the government made a policy choice to withhold assistance, an institution may not challenge the decision as a “matter of right.”

A government grant comes with strings attached. It said that an institution has the option of accepting the funding with restrictions or going its own path.

“It is quite acceptable for an institution to reject a grant and go its own way if it does not wish to accept and comply with the restrictions that come with such assistance. On the contrary, an institution cannot claim that assistance should be granted on its own conditions, as Justice Sundresh, who wrote the Bench’s decision, pointed out.

The court clarified why government aid cannot be seen as a “right” of institutions.

To begin with, government aid is a policy choice. It relies on a variety of variables, including the institution’s own objectives and the government’s capacity to comprehend the exercise.

The court said, “Financial limitations and inadequacies are considerations that are deemed significant in making any decision regarding assistance, including both the decision to grant aid and the method of distribution of such aid.”

“If we conclude that the right to receive aid is not a fundamental right, we may only dispute a decision made in its implementation on limited grounds. As a result, even if a policy decision to withdraw aid is taken, an institution cannot challenge it as a matter of right. When a grant is awarded to one institution over another that is similarly situated, such a challenge may nonetheless be viable to an institution,” the court stated.

The ruling came in response to an appeal filed by Uttar Pradesh against an Allahabad High Court order declaring a section of the Intermediate Education Act of 1921 invalid.

 

Source: The Hindu

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