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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Maharshi Mahesh Yogi Vedic Vishwavidyalaya Adhiniyam, 1995 (Act No.37 of 1995) Apex court declared sec.4 (1) also as ultravires which was omitted by Division bench - partly allowed the appeal confirming other findings of Division bench,= the Division Bench allowed the writ petition in part. The challenge in the writ petition was to the amendment introduced to Sections 2, 4, 9 and 17, as well as insertion of Sections 31-A, 31-B, 31-C, 37-A, 37-B to the Maharshi Mahesh Yogi Vedic Vishwavidyalaya Adhiniyam, 1995 (Act No.37 of 1995), hereinafter referred to as “1995 Act”. The Division Bench upheld the amendment to Section 4(1) of 1995 Act. The Division Bench also held that the amendment to Sections 9(2), 31-A(1) and (2), 31-B, 31-C, 37-B(a), 37-B(b), 37- B(d) and 37-B (e) are intra-vires. The Division Bench further held that the proviso to Section 4 is intra-vires, as far as it provides that no Centres shall be established without prior approval of the State Government and no centre would mean no further Centres excluding the existing ones. The Division Bench further held that the said proviso as far as it stipulated that no courses should be conducted or run without the prior approval of the State Government is ultra-vires, as far as, it related to the present stream of courses and the existing Centres. Section 37-A was held to be ultra-vires in its entirety. Section 37-B (e) was held to be not ultra-vires.= We also hold that the said provision does not in any way offend Article 14 of the Constitution, nor does it affect the autonomy of the appellant University. Apart from the above challenges, no other submission relating to the other amended provisions were seriously argued before us. 114. In the light of our above conclusion, this appeal is partly allowed. We hold that the amended Section 4(1) under Act 5 of 2000 inclusive of the introduction of proviso to the said Section is ultra-vires of the Constitution and the same is liable to be set aside. In other respects, the judgment of the Division Bench stands confirmed. The application for intervention considered, no merits, the same is dismissed.

published in http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgs1.aspx?filename=40500
Page 1
Reportable
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO.6736 OF 2004
Maharshi Mahesh Yogi Vedic
Vishwavidyalaya ...Appellan
t
- Versus -
State of M.P. & Ors. ...Respondents
J U D G M E N T
Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla, J.
1. This appeal is directed against the Division Bench decision of
the High Court of Madhya Pradesh at Jabalpur, dated 20.03.2002,
in W.P.No.1065 of 2001, in and by which, the Division Bench
allowed the writ petition in part. 
The challenge in the writ petition
was to the amendment introduced to Sections 2, 4, 9 and 17, as
well as insertion of Sections 31-A, 31-B, 31-C, 37-A, 37-B to the
Maharshi Mahesh Yogi Vedic Vishwavidyalaya Adhiniyam, 1995
(Act No.37 of 1995), hereinafter referred to as “1995 Act”.
The
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 1 of
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amendment was by way of Amendment Act No.5 of 2000,
hereinafter called the “Amendment Act”.
2. The Division Bench upheld the amendment to Section 4(1) of
1995 Act. 
The Division Bench also held that the amendment to
Sections 9(2), 31-A(1) and (2), 31-B, 31-C, 37-B(a), 37-B(b), 37-
B(d) and 37-B (e) are intra-vires. 
The Division Bench further held
that the proviso to Section 4 is intra-vires, as far as it provides
that no Centres shall be established without prior approval of the
State Government and no centre would mean no further Centres
excluding the existing ones. 
The Division Bench further held that
the said proviso as far as it stipulated that no courses should be
conducted or run without the prior approval of the State
Government is ultra-vires, as far as, it related to the present
stream of courses and the existing Centres. 
Section 37-A was held to be ultra-vires in its entirety. 
Section 37-B (e) was held to be not ultra-vires.
3. To understand the scope of challenge made in this appeal, the
brief facts are required to be stated. The appellant is the
University, which was a creation by way of a Statute viz., 1995
Act. Therefore, in the forefront, it will be better to note the
scheme of the Act, which received the assent of the Governor on
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 2 of
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25th November 1995 and was published in the Madhya Pradesh
Gazette dated 29th November 1995. The Preamble of the Act
would state that it was an Act to establish and incorporate a
University, in the State of Madhya Pradesh and to provide for
education and prosecution of research in Vedic learnings and
practices and to provide for matters connected therewith or
incidental thereto. Section 2 defines the various expressions,
including the expressions “Board of Management”, “Distance
Education System”, “Institution”, “Statutes” and “Ordinance” and
the definition of “University” under Section 2(u) means the
appellant University. Again Section 3(1) refers to the appellant
University and Section 3(2) refers to the headquarters of the
University to be at village Karondi in District Jabalpur, Madhya
Pradesh, providing for establishment of campuses at such other
places within its jurisdiction. Under sub-section (3) to Section 3,
the First Chancellor, Vice Chancellor and the first Members of the
Board of Management of the Academic Council etc., has been set
out.
4. The crucial section is Section 4 and in particular sub-clause (1)
of Section 4, which refers to the powers of the University, which
specifically states that such power would provide for instruction in
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 3 of
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all branches of Vedic Learning, as well as promotion and
development of the study of Sanskrit, as the University may from
time to time determine and also to make provision for research
and for the advancement and dissemination of knowledge.
5. Sub-clauses (ii) to (xxviii) of Section 4 refers to the various
other powers such as granting diplomas and certificates; to
organize and undertake extra-mural studies; conferment of
honorary degree; facilities for distance education system; to
recognize an institution of higher learning for such purposes as
the University may determine; to recognize persons for imparting
instructions in any college or institution maintained by the
University; to appoint persons working in any other University or
organization, as a teacher of the University for a specific period;
to create teaching, as well as administrative posts; to co-operate
or collaborate with any other University or authority; to establish
other campus, special centers, specified laboratories etc., to
institute and award fellowships, scholarships etc., to establish and
maintain colleges and institutions; to make provision for research
and advisory service; to organize and conduct refresher courses;
to make special arrangements for teaching women students; to
appoint on contract or otherwise visiting professors, scholars; to
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 4 of
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confer autonomous status on a college or an institution or a
department; to determine standards of admission of the
University etc.; to fix quota for reserved class students; to
demand and receive payment of fees and other charges; to take
care of the hostels of the students with other inmates of the
college; to lay down conditions of service of all categories of
employees; to frame discipline; to receive benefications, gifts,
etc., and to do all such other acts and things as may be
necessary, incidental or conducive for attainment of all or any of
its objects.
6. Section 5 states that the jurisdiction of the University would
extend to the whole of the State of Madhya Pradesh. The status
of the Chancellor has been described in Section 9. Sub-section (1)
of Section 9 recognizes the status of Maharshi Mahesh Yogi as its
first Chancellor, who was entitled to hold office during his lifetime.
Sub-section (2) to Section 9 provides the manner in which the
next Chancellor can be appointed by the Board of Management
and the qualification and eligibility for appointment as Chancellor.
Section 10 deals with the position of the Vice Chancellor,
qualification and procedure for filling up of the said post. Section
11 deals with the status of the Pro-Vice Chancellor. Sections 12,
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 5 of
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13 and 14 deals with the position of Deans of Schools, the
Registrar and the Finance Officer of the appellant University.
7. Section 15 deals with the manner of appointment, powers and
duties of the other officers of the University, which has to be
prescribed by the Statutes. Sections 17 and 18 specifically deal
with the power of the Board of Management and its constitution.
Section 19 deals with the Academic Council, while Section 20
deals with the Planning Board and Section 24 enumerates the
powers to make Statutes and the provisions to be contained
therein. Section 25 enumerates as to how the Statues has to be
made. Section 26 stipulates as to how all Ordinances should be
made. Section 28 deals with the preparation of annual report of
the University, including the annual accounts and the balance
sheet duly audited by a chartered accountant under the direction
of the Board of Management. Sections 30 and 31 prescribe the
procedure for appeal and arbitration in disciplinary cases against
students. Section 32 deals with the creation of provident and
pension funds. Section 34 deals with the constitution of
committees, while Section 35 deals with the manner in which the
casual vacancies are to be filled up. The transitional provisions
are specified in Section 38 of the Act. The last Section 39
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stipulates that every Statute, Ordinance or Regulation made
under the Act, should be published in the Official Gazette and that
it should be laid down, as soon as it is made before the Madhya
Pradesh Legislative Assembly.
8. A conspicuous reading of the above provisions of the 1995 Act,
discloses that the appellant University was established and
incorporated under Section 3 of the Act. At the very outset, it
must be stated that the establishment of the University itself was
at the behest of Maharshi Mahesh Yogi, who was the man behind
the institution and was an inspiration, if we may say so, for the
establishment and effective functioning of it. The State
Government came forward to pass the legislation for establishing
the appellant University on his initiative and persuasion. It was
his vision of spreading total knowledge on the holistic
interpretation of the ‘Vedas’ and it must be stated that his move
to propagate natural law and technology of consciousness was
very laudable. It is stated that he was instrumental for
establishing many such Universities at various places throughout
the world. Therefore, it was his vision, as well as mission, to
establish this University with the laudable object of spreading the
holistic principle enshrined in the Vedas, Upvedas, Agam Tantra,
Itihas, Puranas, as well as Gyan-Vigyan.
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 7 of
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9. The purport of establishing this University at his instance was
to ensure that the ancient knowledge embedded in those Vedas,
Upvedas, Agam Tantra, Itihas, Puranas etc., are kept intact and
the wealth of knowledge contained in these Vedas, Upvedas etc.,
are not only spread by establishing an institution, but by teaching
them through well established institutions and thereby, ensuring
that such wealth of knowledge is kept intact for the future
generations to come.
10. In this context, we must state that the Division Bench of the
Madhya Pradesh High Court in its scholarly judgment has dealt
with the intricacies of the wealth of knowledge contained in
Vedas, running for several pages and hence, we only state that
the same shall be read as part and parcel of this judgment for its
better understanding.
11. When we refer to the subjects dealt with in Vedas, it will be
worthwhile to note the details garnered and noted in the
judgment of the Division Bench, which in our considered opinion
have to be referred to in order to appreciate the challenge made
to the amendment by the State Government with particular
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 8 of
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reference to Section 4(1) of the 1995 Act. In fact the Division
Bench has dealt with the above aspects in several pages,
however, for the purpose of this case, it will be sufficient if we
refer to certain relevant portions of the judgment in order to get a
better understanding that the concept of Vedas deals with various
aspects of life, which also includes science in general, as well as
human autonomy. Reference can be made to paragraph 29 and
30 of the judgment, where the Division Bench has noted the four
different branches of Vedas viz., Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda
and Atharvaveda, along with the four Upvedas viz., Ayurveda,
Gandharvaveda, Dhanurveda and Sthapatyaveda. If all these
Vedas are understood in their proper perspective, we can find that
they deal with various aspects of life, the way of living, the
culture, sculpture, medicines and quintessence of civilization and
so on and so forth.
12. The Division Bench has also noted that in Vedas there are
formulae, which deals with mathematics. The Vedic sutras enable
a person to solve complex mathematical problems because of its
cogency, compactness and simplicity. The Division Bench has
also stated that it is a total misconception for any one to state
that Vedas are only relatable to rituals. It went on to add that
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 9 of
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mathematicians have observed that while ordinary multiplication
methods require many steps, in Sanskrit sutra, only one line
method is sufficient. To quote a few, the Division Bench has
referred to ‘Urdhwa’, ‘Tiryak Sutra’, ‘Ekadhiken Purva Sutra’ and
‘Kalana-Kalna Sutra’. A little more detailed analysis made by the
Division Bench, as regards the in-depth contents in Vedas can be
profitably referred to by extracting paragraph 33 of the judgment
of the Division Bench, which reads as under:
“33. The modern physicists are also connecting certain
theories propagated by the ancient Indians. Some
scientists have seen atomic dance in the deity of
'Natraj'. The empirical knowledge which has been
achieved, had been perceived knowledge which has
been achieved, had been perceived by the ancient
'Drastas'. The memories of cells, which is the modern
discovery finds place in the wise men of the past. The
Psychology, Psychiatry, Neurology had also been
adverted in their own way in the Shastras. Presently
scholars recognize one continuous shining background
which had its base is the pure consciousness. Thoreau,
the eminent thinker, realised this and expressed so
through his writing, Psychological quiescence is not
unknown to the ancients. The principle that there
cannot be difference between the body and mind was
found by them. The great American, Emerson
expressed :
"They reckon ill who leave me out; When me they
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 10 of
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fly I am the wings; I am the doubter and the doubt,
And, I the hymn the Brahamana sings."
Possibly for these reasons T.S. Eliot wrote:
"Mankind cannot bear too much of reality."
13. Again in paragraph 43, the Division Bench has highlighted
how Vedic learning is also concerned with human anatomy and
physiology. It mentions that Atharvaveda gives a picture of
human bio-existence in a different manner. It is also stated that
Vedas qua human anatomy, coincides more or less with the
medical science of today. It is further mentioned that the
language of interpretation may be different, but the essence of
science is one and the same. The Division Bench states that the
Atharvaveda does not perceive man’s physiology, as delineated in
terms of science, but visualizes in subtler elements, by making
specific reference to the nadis, annihilation, exhalation, retention
of air in the body, which has its corresponding note in the winds
and vayu.
14. We have ventured to make a detailed reference to the above
facets highlighted in the judgment in order to state and
understand that by making reference to Vedas and its other allied
subjects, one cannot arrive at a conclusion that it only deals with
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 11 of
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rituals and some religious tenets and that it has nothing to do with
other aspects of life. On the other hand, a detailed reference was
made by the Division Bench by making an in depth study
disclosing that the study of Vedas should enlighten a person in all
aspects of life not necessarily restricted to religion or rituals
simpliciter.
15. When we attempt to understand the intricacies of Vedas,
which as stated by us earlier has been dealt with by the Division
Bench in several pages in the opening part of its judgment, we
also wish to make a reference to the meaning of the expression
“Gyan Vigyan”, as has been expressed by Dr.Subash Sharma,
Dean of Indian Business Academy, Noida in his article “From
Newton to Nirvana: Science, Vigyan and Gyan”. A reading of the
said note on “Gyan Vigyan” by the author really gives a clear
picture about the said concept. We feel that it is worthwhile to
make a brief reference to what has been attempted to be
explained by the said author. According to the writer, “Gyan
Vigyan” can be analyzed in two ways, viz., Vishesh Gyan and
Vishya Gyan. The world science has linkages with senses and
hence, scientific knowledge has got its roots in senses. He would
state that the traditional knowledge gets legitimacy only if it can
be tested on the basis of objectivity, through the senses. He
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 12 of
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would elaborate his idea by stating that while science relies on
senses, Vigyan i.e. Vishesh Gyan, can be acquired through ‘mind’.
Therefore, Vigyan is more than science as ‘mind’ is more than
senses. He would conclude his analysis by saying that ‘Gyan’
both in terms of its metaphysical and spiritual meaning, is
acquired through ‘consciousness’ and that it is more than
Vigyan as ‘consciousness’ is more than ‘mind’. If the analysis
made by the writer is understood, it can be held that if one
represents senses, mind and consciousness in terms of three
concentric circles, we may observe that radius of
consciousness is larger than the radius of the mind and radius
of mind is larger than the radius of the senses.
16. He would therefore, conclude by saying that just as senses,
mind and consciousness are interconnected, the three circles
of science, Vigyan and Gyan are also interconnected. It can
therefore be safely stated that “Gyan Vigyan” would be nothing
but a systematic study of science through senses, by applying
one’s mind with absolute consciousness.
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 13 of
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17. Keeping the above perception about the basics of Vedas
i.e., Upvedas, Agam Tantra, Itihas, Puranas etc., in consonance
with Gyan Vigyan, it will be necessary to briefly refer as to how
the University came to be established after the coming into
force of 1995 Act. It is also imminently required in as much as,
such an establishment had resulted in the investment of
considerable sum of money for the purpose of imparting
education on Vedas and its allied subjects, including Gyan
Vigyan and for dissemination of knowledge, as was originally
thought of by the lawmakers, while enacting 1995 Act for the
purpose of establishing the appellant University.
18. One of the main themes, which was propagated by
Maharshi Mahesh Yogi was that the solution of the problems in
the field of education lies in developing the limitless inner
potential of its students and teachers. According to him, to
achieve the said goal, it was necessary to revive the ancient Vedic
science and knowledge for the systematic unfolding of the full
range of human consciousness. The said line of thinking of the
Yogi contains the technology of the unified field that includes the
Transcendental Meditation (TM) and Transcendental Meditation
Siddhi Programmes. It was also highlighted by the Yogi that there
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were enough materials in Vedas, which pertains to seed
production, crop production, sericulture, health care,
management, beauty culture, marketing and accounting. It was
further claimed that Vedas are the structure of pure knowledge,
having infinite creative potential, which an individual can harvest.
In order to highlight the valueability of the above intricate
subjects, considerable investment had to be made while
establishing the appellant University.
19. It was in this background that the Yogi is stated to have
made an attempt for nearly four decades by repeatedly knocking
at the doors of the Legislators who came forward with the Statute
viz., 1995 Act for establishing the institution with the laudable
object of spreading the knowledge on Vedas and its intricate
subjects, through the medium of education. After the Statute viz.,
1995 Act, came into effect, the appellant University took every
effort to create the necessary infrastructure of high standards in
education and teaching. It is revealed that the infrastructure
comprised of permanent furnished buildings, teachers, staff,
transport facilities, library, hostel facilities etc., and the capital
expenditure as on 31.03.2000, was stated to be Rupees 12.74
crores. Besides this, the recurring expenditure was also of an
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equal sum. After its commencement, it is stated that 3006
students, who received education from the University, were
conferred with certificates/diplomas and degrees. In the
academic year 2000-01, the student strength was stated to be
3136 and that it has also awarded Ph.D degrees to 10 students,
while 70 other students were pursuing their doctorate education
by enrolling themselves with the University. Amongst the 70
students who enrolled themselves for pursuing their doctorate
courses in the University, 46 students were granted scholarship in
the range of Rs.1500 to Rs.2000 per month.
20. In the rejoinder affidavit filed in the High Court, the University
further claimed that it has Rs.60 crores deposit and has realized a
sum of Rs.2.5 crores by way of tuition fees and stated that the
University has invested huge sums for the purpose of imparting
education in Vedas, as well as in other science and art subjects,
which according to the University were essential requirements to
be established for the purpose of attaining its objectives.
21. The appellant University would therefore, contend that in the
field of education, though the main objective of the University was
to reinforce the greatness of Vedas, Upvedas, agam tantra, itihas,
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 16 of
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darshan, upanashid, puranas etc., in as much as every other field
of education was intrinsically connected with the main objective
of spreading the knowledge of Vedas. It was contended that the
attempt of the State Government to cripple the activities of the
University by restricting the scope of education in the University
to Vedas alone would be doing grave injustice to the University,
as well as to its beneficiaries.
22. Having analysed the emergence of the appellant University
based on enactment viz., 1995 Act, we are of the considered
opinion that it will also be appropriate to emphasis the need of
education and its benefits in order to appreciate the issue
involved in this litigation in particular to the challenge made at
the instance of the appellant to certain of the amendments, which
were introduced in the said 1995 Act, by the Amendment Act. It
is needless to state that education, a Constitutional right, has
been explained as an essential part in every one’s life. In order to
understand its consequential effects on the society at large, the
Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, while referring to
education has stated, “live as if you were to die tomorrow.
Learn as if you were to live forever”. Later reinforced by
Nelson Mandela “Education is the most powerful weapon
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 17 of
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which you can use to change the world”. The process of
learning, as has been highlighted by the father of the nation,
emphasises the need for one to have an everlasting thirst for
acquiring knowledge by getting himself educated. It is stated that
education is the most potent mechanism for the advancement of
human beings. It enlarges, enriches and improves the individual’s
image of the future. A man without education is no more than an
animal. Education emancipates the human beings and leads to
liberation from ignorance. According to Pestalozzi who is a Swiss
pedagogue and educational reformer stated that education is a
constant process of development of innate powers of man, which
are natural, harmonious and progressive. It is said that in the 21st
Century, 'a nation's ability to convert knowledge into wealth and
social good through the process of innovation is going to
determine its future.' Accordingly the 21st Century is termed as
the ‘century of knowledge’.
23. Mr. Will Durrant defines 'education' as the 'transmission of
civilization'. George Peabody has defined 'education' as "a debt
due from present to future generations". Education confers dignity
to a man. The significance of education was very well explained
by the US Supreme Court first, in the case of Brown V Board of
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Education – 347 U.S. 483(1954), in following words: "It is the
very foundation of good citizenship. Today, it is principal
instrument in awakening the child to cultural value, in preparing
him for later professional training and in helping him to adjust
normally to his environment.” Hence, it is said that a child is the
future of the nation.
24. A private organization, named the International Bureau of
Education, was established in Geneva in 1924 and was
transformed into an inter-governmental organization in 1929, as
an international coordinating centre for institutions concerned
with education. A much broader approach was chosen, however
with the establishment of UNESCO in 1945. United Nations, on
10th December, 1998 adopted the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights (UDHR). The Preamble to the UDHR stated
that: “every individual and organ of society...., shall strive by
teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and
freedoms....” In accordance with the Preamble of UDHR,
education should aim at promoting human rights by importing
knowledge and skill among the people of the nation States.
25. Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
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declares:
“Everyone has the right to education. Education
shall be free, at least in the elementary and
fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be
compulsory. Technical and Professional education shall
be generally available and higher education shall be
equally accessible to all on the basis of merit."
(Emphasis added)
26. The same concept has been repeated in the UN Declaration of
the Rights of the Child, which seeks to ensure;
"Right to free and compulsory education at least in the
elementary stages and education to promote general
culture, abilities, judgment and sense of responsibility
to become a useful member of society and opportunity
to recreation, and play to attain the same purpose as
of education."
27. The role of international organizations regarding the
implementation of the right to education is just not limited to the
preparation of documents and conducting conferences and
conventions, but it also undertakes the operational programmes
assuring, access to education of refugees, migrants, minorities,
indigenous people, women and the handicaps. India participated
in the drafting of the Declaration and has ratified the covenant.
Hence, India is under an obligation to implement such provisions.
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As a corollary from the Human Rights perspective, constitutional
rights in regard to education are to be automatically ensured.
28. Having briefly analyzed the International Conventions, we
would like to refer to the provisions in our own Constitution, which
provides for the significance and need for education. The
Founding Fathers of the nation, recognizing the importance and
significance of the right to education, made it a constitutional
goal, and placed it under Chapter IV Directive Principles of State
Policy of the Constitution of India. Article 45 of the Constitution
requires the State to make provisions within 10 years for ‘free and
compulsory education’ for all children until they complete the age
of 14 years.
29. Further, Article 46 declares that the state shall promote with
special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker
sections of the people. It is significant to note that among several
Articles enshrined under Part IV of the Indian Constitution, Article
45 had been given much importance, as education is the basic
necessity of the democracy and if the people are denied their
right to education, then democracy will be paralyzed; and it was,
therefore, emphasized that the objectives enshrined under Article
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45 in Chapter IV of the Constitution should be achieved within ten
years of the adoption of the Constitution. By establishing the
obligations of the State, the Founding Fathers made it the
responsibility of future governments to formulate a programme in
order to achieve the given goals, but the unresponsive and
sluggish attitude of the government to achieve the objectives
enshrined under Article 45, belied the hopes and aspirations of
the people. However, the Judiciary showed keen interest in
providing free and compulsory education to all the children below
the age of fourteen years. In the case of Mohini Jain V State of
Karnataka and others - (1992) 3 SCC 666, this Court held
that right to education is a fundamental right enshrined under
Article 21 of the Constitution. The right to education springs from
right to life. The right to life under Article 21 and the dignity of the
individual cannot fully be appreciated without the enjoyment of
right to education. The Court observed:
"Right to life" is the compendious expression for all
those rights which the Courts must enforce because
they are basic to the dignified enjoyment of life. It
extends to the full range of conduct which the
individual is free to pursue. The right to education
flows directly from right to life. The right to life under
Article 21 and the dignity of an individual cannot be
assured unless it is accompanied by the right to
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education. The State Government is under an
obligation to make endeavour to provide educational
facilities at all levels to its citizens.”
30. In the case of Unni Krishnan J.P. and others V State of
Andhra Pradesh and others reported in (1993) 1 SCC
645, this Court was asked to examine the decision of Mohini Jain's
case. In Unni Krishnan (supra) this Court partly overruled the
decision rendered in Mohini Jain’s case. The Court held that, the
right to education is implicit in the right to life and personal liberty
guaranteed by Article 21 and must be interpreted in the light of
the Directive Principles of State Policy contained in Articles 41, 45
and 46. This Court, however, limited the State obligation to
provide educational facilities as follows:
(i) Every Citizen of this Country has a right to free education
until he completes the age of fourteen years;
(ii) Beyond that stage, his right to education is subject to the
limits of the economic capacity of the state.
His Lordship Mr. Justice Mohan, as he then was, has stated
as under in paragraph 10 & 11:
"10. The fundamental purpose of Education is the
same at all times and in all places. It is to transfigure
the human personality into a pattern of perfection
through a synthetic process of the development of the
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body, the enrichment of the mind, the sublimation of
the emotions and the illumination of the spirit.
Education is a preparation for a living and for life, here
and hereafter.
11. An old Sanskrit adage states: "That is Education
which leads to liberation"- liberation from
ignorance which shrouds the mind; liberation
from superstition which paralyses effort,
liberation from prejudices which blind the Vision
of the Truth."
(Emphasis added)
31. Further, this Court in M.C. Mehta V State of Tamil Nadu
and others reported in (1996) 6 SCC 756, observed that, to
develop the full potential of the children, they should be
prohibited from doing hazardous work and education should be
made available to them. In this regard, the Court held that the
government should formulate programmes offering job oriented
education, so that they may get education and the timings be so
adjusted so that their employment is not affected.
32. Again in Bandhua Mukti Morcha V Union of India and
others, reported in (1997) 10 SCC 549, Justice K. Ramaswamy
and Justice Saghir Ahmad observed that illiteracy has many
adverse effects in a democracy governed by a rule of law. It was
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 24 of
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held that educated citizens could meaningfully exercise their
political rights, discharge social responsibilities satisfactorily and
develop sprit of tolerance and reform. Therefore, compulsory
education is one of the essentials for the stability of democracy,
social integration and to eliminate social evils. This Court by
rightly and harmoniously construing the provision of Part III and IV
of the Constitution has made ‘Right to education’ a basic
fundamental right.
33. The Government of India by Constitutional (86th Amendment
Act) Act, 2002 had added a new Article 21A, which provides that
"the state shall provide free and compulsory education to all
children of the age of 6 to 14 years in such manner as the State
may, by law determine". Further, they strengthened this Article
21A by adding a clause (k) to Article 51-A, which provides for
those who are a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for
education to his/her child or ward between the age of 6 and 14
years. On the basis of the Constitutional mandate provided under
Articles 41, 45, 46, 21-A, 51-A(k) and various judgments of this
Court, both the Government of India, as well as this Court has
taken several steps to eradicate illiteracy, improve the quality of
education and simultaneously ensure that the dropouts are
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 25 of
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brought to nil. Some of these programmes are the National
Technology Mission, District Primary Education Programme, and
Nutrition Support for Primary Education, National Open School,
Mid-Day Meal Scheme, Sarva Siksha Abhiyan and other state
specific initiatives. Besides this, several States have enacted
legislations to provide free and compulsory primary education
such as: The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education
Act, 2009, The Kerala Education Act 1959, The Punjab Primary
Education Act 1960, The Gujarat Compulsory Primary Education
Act 1961, U.P. Basic Education Act 1972, Rajasthan Primary
Education Act 1964, Tamil Nadu Right of Children to Free and
Compulsory Education Rules, 2011, etc.
34. The right to education will be meaningful only and only if all
the levels of education reach to all sections of people, otherwise it
will fail to achieve the target set out by our Founding Fathers, who
intended to make the Indian society an egalitarian society.
35. The 15th official census in India was calculated in the year
2011. In a country like India, literacy is the main foundation for
social and economic growth. When the British rule ended in 1947,
the literacy rate was just 12%. Over the years, India has changed
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 26 of
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socially, economically, and globally. After the 2011 census,
literacy rate in India, during 2011 was found to be 74.04%.
Compared to the adult literacy rate here, the youth literacy rate is
about 9% higher. Though this seems like a very great
accomplishment, it is still a matter of concern that still so many
people in India cannot even read and write. The number of
children who do not get education especially in the rural areas are
still high. Though the government has made a law that every child
under the age of 14 should get free education, the problem of
illiteracy is still at large.
36. Now, if we consider female literacy rate in India, then it is
lower than the male literacy rate, as many parents do not allow
their female children to go to schools. They get married off at a
young age instead. Though child marriage has been lowered to
very low levels, it still happens. Many families, especially in rural
areas believe that having a male child is better than having a
baby girl. So the male child gets all the benefits. Today, the
female literacy levels according to the Literacy Rate 2011 census
are 65.46%, where the male literacy rate is over 80%. The literacy
rate in India has always been a matter of concern, but many NGO
initiatives and government ads, campaigns and programs are
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 27 of
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being held to spread awareness amongst people about the
importance of literacy. Also the government has made strict rules
for female equality rights. Indian literacy rate has shown a
significant rise in the past 10 years.
37. According to us, illiteracy is one of the major problems faced
by the developing nations. In Africa and South East Asia, it has
been identified as a major cause of socio economic and ethical
conflicts that frequently surfaced in the region. Therefore, literacy
has now become part of the Human Right dialogue. Now most of
the nations of the world have also accepted their obligation to
provide at least free elementary education to their citizens.
38. Owens and Shaw have stated in their book ‘Development
Reconsidered’ “It is self-evident that literacy is a basic element of
a nationwide knowledge system. The most important element of a
literacy program is not the program itself, but the incentive to
become and remain literate.”
39. Education is thus, viewed as an integral part of national
development and held as an instrument by which the skills and
productive capacities are developed and endowed. Literacy forms
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 28 of
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the cornerstone for making the provision of equality of
opportunity a reality.
40. With great respect, it will also have to be stated that bereft of
improvement in the educational field when we pose to ourselves
the question as to what extent it has created any impact, it will
have to be stated that we are yet to reach the preliminary level of
achievement of standardised literate behaviour. In fact, in the
earlier years, though the literate level was not as high as it now
stands, the human value had its own respected place in the
society. It will be worthwhile to recall the control the elders could
administer over the youngsters, de hors the lack of education. It
is unfortunate that today education instead of reforming the
human behaviour, in our humble opinion appear to have failed to
achieve its objective. Instead we find troubled atmosphere in the
society at large, which calls for immediate reformation with the
efforts of one and all. Therefore, it has become imperative to see
that the institution, the teachers, the parents, the students and
the society at large can do for bringing about such a
transformation. When by and large the development of education
has been achieved and the percentage of literacy has
considerably improved, at least to more than 60%, there should
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 29 of
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not be any difficulty for the educated mass to prevail upon every
section of the society in order to ensure that the orderly society
emerges, which would pave the way for a decent and safe living
for every human being who is part of the society.
41. We can usefully refer to the importance of the education as
highlighted by the seven Judge Bench of this Court in P.A.
Inamdar and others V. State of Maharashtra and others –
(2005) 6 SCC 537. In paragraphs 81, 85 and 90, it has been held
as under:
81. “Education” according to Chambers Dictionary is
“bringing up or training; … strengthening of the
powers of body or mind; culture”.
85. Quadri, J. has well put it in his opinion in Pai
Foundation:
“287. Education plays a cardinal role in
transforming a society into a civilised nation. It
accelerates the progress of the country in every
sphere of national activity. No section of the citizens
can be ignored or left behind because it would hamper
the progress of the country as a whole. It is the duty of
the State to do all it could, to educate every section of
citizens who need a helping hand in marching ahead
along with others.”
90. In short, education is national wealth essential for
the nation’s progress and prosperity.
42. The following quote of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Unni
Krishnan’s case sums up the importance of education;
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“Victories are gained, peace is preserved, progress is
achieved, civilisation is built up and history is made
not on the battlefields where ghastly murders are
committed in the name of patriotism, not in the
Council Chambers where insipid speeches are spun out
in the name of debate, not even in factories where are
manufactured novel instruments to strangle life, but in
educational institutions which are the seed-beds of
culture, where children in whose hands quiver the
destinies the future, are trained. From their ranks will
come out when they grow up, statesmen and soldiers,
patriots and philosophers, who will determine the
progress of the land.”
43. Having thus highlighted the importance of Education, when
we now refer to the core issue involved in this appeal, the
provocation for the appellant to file the writ petition was the
amendment introduced by Amendment Act 5 of 2000, by which,
Sections 2, 4, 9 and 17 of 1995 Act was amended, while
simultaneously Sections 31-A, 31-B, 31-C, 37-A and 37-B were
inserted.
44. Before adverting to the consequence of the amendments
introduced to two of the crucial provisions viz., Section 4(1) and
its proviso and Section 9(2) of the un-amended Act, it will have to
be kept in mind that after the coming into force of the 1995 Act,
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 31 of
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the appellant University has framed its Statutes, as well as
Ordinance No.15. Ordinance No.15, contains the courses of
studies, which are numerous. Apart from prime subjects on Vedas
there were also other professional courses such as Project
Management, Human Resources Management, Financial
Management, Marketing Management, Accounting and Auditing,
Banking, as well as vocational courses in typing, stenography,
secretarial practice, computer technology marketing and sales,
dress designing and manufacturing, textile designing and printing,
horticulture, seed production, crop production, sericulture, as well
as, short term courses in various international topics such as,
political science, theory of Government, theory of defense, theory
of education, theory of management etc.
45. One other relevant factor to be noted is that the appellant
University was added in the list of Universities maintained by the
University Grants Commission, as provided under Section 2(f) of
the University Grants Commission Act, 1956. The same was
addressed by way of a communication to the University Grants
Commission dated 24.08.1998, in and by which, the inclusion of
the appellant University in the schedule to the University Grants
Commission Act, 1956 was notified. One other factor which is
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 32 of
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also to be kept in mind is that by virtue of the provisions
contained in the un-amended Act, the appellant University also
opened up as many as 55 centers in which an average of 35
students stated to have got themselves enrolled to pursue various
courses of study.
46. Keeping the above factors and details in mind, when we
examine the challenge made in the writ petition, in the forefront,
the challenge was to the amendment, which was made to Section
4(1) of the 1995 Act.
47. The next challenge was to the proviso to Section 4 and the
third crucial challenge was to the amendment to Section 9(2) of
the 1995 Act. In fact, Mr.Nagaeshwara Rao, learned senior
counsel for the appellant in his submissions, mainly concentrated
on the above three aspects on which the amendments impinge
upon the rights of the appellant.
48. In the first instance, we wish to take up the amendment to
Section 4(1) of the Act. In order to appreciate the submissions of
the respective counsel, it will be worthwhile to note the unCivil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 33 of
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amended Section 4(1), the amended Section 4(1), as well as the
Preamble to the Act which are as under:
"4 (i) to provide for instruction in all branches of Vedic
learning and practices including Darshan, Agam
Tantra, Itihas, Puranas, Upvedas and Gyan-Vigyan and
the promotion and development of the study of
Sanskrit as the University may, from time to time
determine and to make provision for research and for
the advancement and dissemination of knowledge."
The amended provision reads as under:--
"to provide for instruction only in all branches of Vedic
learning and practices including Darshan, Agam
Tantra, Itihas, Puranas, Upvedas and Gyan-Vigyan and
the promotion and development of the study of
Sanskrit as the University may from time to time
determine and to make provison for research and for
the advancement in the above fields and in these
fields may ........."
Preamble:
"An Act to establish and incorporate a University in the
State of Madhya Pradcsh and to provide for education
and prosecution of research in Vedic learnings and
practices and to provide for matters connected
therewith or incidental thereto."
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 34 of
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49. A reading of the above amendments to Section 4(1) discloses
that by way of the amendment, the expression “only” and the
expression “in the above fields and in these fields may…” were
added, while the last set of expressions “dissemination of
knowledge” were deleted. After the amendment, the grievance of
the appellant was that, prior to the coming into force of the
Amendment Act viz., Act 5 of 2000, the Officer on Special Duty, in
the Department of Higher Education, sent a memorandum,
alleging that the course of study prescribed in Clause 1(i) and (j)
of Ordinance No.15, were contrary to the aims and objectives of
the University and therefore, not acceptable. The University
submitted through its reply vide Annexure P-7, explaining in detail
with cogent reasons as to why it was entitled to conduct those
courses. It is in the above stated background that the
Amendment Act 5 of 2000 came to be introduced.
50. In the above stated background, when we examine the
amendment to Section 4 (1), it is quite apparent that by adding
the word “only” after the expressions “instruction” in the opening
part of the Section and by adding expression “in the above fields
and in these fields may…”, the State Legislature apparently
wanted to restrict the scope of providing instructions to its
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 35 of
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students only in respect of studies in branches of Vedic learning
and practices, including Darshan, Agam Tantra, Itihas, Puranas,
Upvedas and Gyan-Vigyan and also the promotion and
development of study of Sanskrit, which was left to be determined
by the University. It was also entitled to make provisions for
research and for the advancement in the fields mentioned above.
By omitting or by deleting the set of expression “dissemination of
knowledge”, apparently the State Legislature wanted to give a
thrust to its intendment of restricting the scope of study in the
appellant University to Vedic instructions and its allied subjects.
By taking up the deletion of the expression “dissemination of
knowledge”, by way of the amendment as stated earlier, the State
Legislature wanted to restrict the scope of study in the appellant
University to Vedic instructions alone. The expression
“dissemination of knowledge” is, to put it precisely, the spreading
of knowledge over wide frontiers. Going by the dictionary
meaning and to put it differently, “dissemination of knowledge”
would mean spreading of knowledge widely or disbursement of
knowledge widely. Therefore, the said set of expressions on their
own, would only mean any attempt for spreading of knowledge or
disbursement of knowledge. With the said set of expressions as
originally contained in Section 4(1), the question for consideration
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 36 of
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was as to whether such spreading of knowledge or disbursement
of knowledge should be confined only to the exclusive field of
Vedic learning alone, or whether it should be read disjunctively to
be applied for such spreading of knowledge, on a wide spectrum.
In fact, the Division Bench has even concluded that even by
retaining these set of expressions, the position would be that such
dissemination of knowledge would be referable only to Vedic
learning and not for general application.
51. Mr. Nageshwar Rao, learned senior counsel in his submissions
took pains to contend that by reading the un-amended Section
4(1) by virtue of the word ‘and’ prior to the set of expressions “for
the advancement” and “dissemination of knowledge”, the learned
senior counsel contended that the whole idea and purpose, while
establishing the appellant University was for the cause of
advancement and spreading of knowledge in a wide spectrum and
not by restricting it to the field of Vedic learning alone. To
reinforce his submissions, the learned senior counsel vehemently
contended that Section 4(1), apart from providing scope for Vedic
learning and practices, including Darshan, Agam Tantra, Itihas,
Puranas and Upvedas also used the expression “Gyan-Vigyan”
which is nothing but science and technology. The learned senior
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 37 of
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counsel therefore, contended that apart from spreading the
process of learning in the field of Vedas, the establishment of the
appellant University was also in other fields such as, science and
technology and other vocational courses, by way of dissemination
of knowledge. The learned senior counsel therefore, contended
that by bringing out the amendment to Section 4(1), by way of an
addition to the expressions “only” and “in the above fields and in
these fields may…”, the State Government has violated the
Constitutional right of the appellant in the field of education,
thereby conflicting with Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution.
52. The learned senior counsel further contended that the State
Legislature lacks competence, in as much as education is a
subject contained in Entry-66 of List-I and is already governed by
the central legislation viz., the University Grants Commission Act,
1956 and therefore, the State was incompetent to restrict the
scope of education in various fields by bringing out an
amendment, as has been made in Act 5 of 2000.
53. To support the above submission, the learned senior counsel
by referring to the Preamble of 1995 Act contended that the Act
was enacted to provide for education primarily and prosecution of
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 38 of
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research in Vedic learning and practices, apart from providing for
matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The
submissions of the learned senior counsel was that going by the
Preamble to the enactment, the purport of the legislation was to
provide education in all fields in the forefront, apart from
prosecution of research in Vedic learning and practices. The
learned senior counsel would contend that the said submission
was rejected by the Division Bench by restricting the
consideration to the words preceding the expression
“dissemination of knowledge” and by applying the principle
Noscitur A Sociis. The learned senior counsel would contend that
such an approach of the Division Bench was not justified and
relied upon the decisions reported in (2011) 3 SCC 436 (State
of Orissa and Anr. Vs. Mamata Mohanty), (2012) 1 SCC
762 (Ramesh Rout Vs. Rabindra Nath Rout), AIR 1963 SC
1323 (State of Rajasthan and Anr. Vs. Sripal Jain), (2001)
4 SCC 286 (M/s. Shriram Vinyl and Chemical Industries Vs.
Commissioner of Customs, Mumbai) and (2002) 7 SCC 273
(Union of India (UOI) and Anr. Vs. Hansoli Devi and Ors.).
54. The learned senior counsel also referred to Section 6 of the
Madhya Pradesh University Act, 1973 and contended that
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“dissemination of knowledge” is referable to spreading of
knowledge in all other fields which may also include Vedic
learning. The learned senior counsel also relied upon AIR 1968
SC 1450 (Ishwar Singh Bindra and Ors. Vs. State of U.P.),
(1987) 3 SCC 208 (Joint Director of Mines Safety Vs.
Tandur and Nayandgi Stone Quarries (P) Ltd.) and (2005) 5
SCC 420 (Prof. Yashpal and Anr. Vs. State of Chhattisgarh
and Ors.) for the proposition as to how to understand the
expression “and”.
55. Apart from the submission on Section 4(1), the learned senior
counsel, while attacking the amendment made by introducing
proviso to Section 4, contended that as far as the introduction of
various courses, as well as opening of centers are concerned, they
are exclusively governed by the University Grants Commission
Regulations, which was framed under the provisions of the
University Grants Commission Act, 1956 and therefore, the
introduction of the said proviso was directly in conflict with the
occupied field by the University Grants Commission Act and
consequently ultra-vires of the Constitutional provisions. The
learned senior counsel relied upon Prof. Yashpal and another
(supra), (1995) 4 SCC 104 (State of Tamil Nadu and Anr. v.
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 40 of
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Adhiyaman Educational and Research Institute and
others) and 1963 Supp. 1 SCR 112 (Gujarat University,
Ahmedabad Vs. Krishna Ranganath Mudholkar). Reference
was also made to Section 12 of the University Grants Commission
Act, 1956 in support of the said submission.
56. As far as the challenge relating to Section 9(2) of the Act, was
concerned, the learned senior counsel contended that the
submission based on Entry 66 of List-I of the Constitution would
equally apply to the said challenge. Besides this, he also
contended that as the appellant University was created by a
Statute, the amendment only seeks to interfere with its
independence by casting onerous conditions on the appellant to
submit a panel of three persons to the State Government, and by
empowering the State Government to grant its approval as a precondition for the appointment of the Chancellor. According to
the learned senior counsel such a condition imposed was highly
arbitrary and therefore, was liable to be set aside.
57. The learned senior counsel therefore, contended that the
insertion of the word “only” in Section 4(1) of the Act, was made
by simultaneously deleting the expression “dissemination of
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 41 of
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knowledge” and thereby, the un-amended provision has been
made meaningless. According to the learned senior counsel, the
conclusion of the Division Bench that even without the deletion,
the position remains the same, was not correct because every
word in the legislation has a purpose and the principle Noscitur A
Sociis was not applicable to the case on hand because the term
“dissemination of knowledge” is of wider import.
58. The above proposition of law as contended by the learned
senior counsel has been widely dealt with by this Court in a
catena of decisions right from State of Bombay and others vs.
Hospital Mazdoor Sabha and others (AIR 1960 SC 610),
Rohit Pulp and Paper Mills Ltd. Vs. Collector of Central
Excise (AIR 1991 SC 754), Kerala State Housing Board and
others Vs. Ramapriya Hotels (P) Ltd. and others, (1994) 5
SCC 672), Samantha Vs. State of Andhra Pradesh (AIR
1997 SC 3297), K. Bhagirathi G. Shenoy and others Vs.
K.P. Ballakuraya and another (AIR 1999 SC 2143),
Brindavan Bangle Stores and others Vs. Assistant
Commissioner of Commercial Taxes and another (AIR 2000
SC 691) ending with the decision in CBI, AHD, Patna Vs. Braj
Bhushan Prasad and others (AIR 2001 SC 4014 at page
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 42 of
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4020). It has been held that the legal maxim Noscitur A Sociis, is
merely a rule of construction and it cannot prevail in cases where
it is clear that the wider words have been deliberately used in
order to make the scope of the defined word correspondingly
wider. It is only where the intention of the Legislature in
associating wider words with words of narrower significance is
doubtful or otherwise not clear that the present rule of
construction namely Noscitur A Sociis can be usefully applied.
59. As far as the proviso to Section 4 was concerned, the
submission of the learned senior counsel was, what applied to the
courses would equally apply to centers and since the Division
Bench has held that the State Government was not competent to
legislate, as regards the courses to be introduced, on the same
logic, the Division Bench ought not to have set aside the proviso
in its entirety.
60. As against the above submissions Ms.Vibha Datta Makhija,
learned counsel for the State contended that the University
Grants Commission Rules was related to the standard of
education and not on courses. According to the learned counsel,
going by the Preamble to 1995 Act, it is categorical and
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 43 of
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unambiguous to the effect that the establishment of the
University was only to provide education in Vedic learning and
therefore, it can only be in courses connected with Vedas. As a
corollary it was submitted that any course not connected with
Vedic learning will stand excluded.
61. The learned counsel submitted that even going by the unamended Section 4, it is clear that it referred only to all learning
connected with Vedic study, since the various sub-clauses to
Section 4 also disclosed that it was more Vedic centric rather than
on general subjects. By referring to Section 17, the learned
counsel pointed out that the degree of autonomy granted to the
appellant University, as compared to other Universities was
limited in scope.
62. The learned counsel also referred to the object and scope of
the Madhya Pradesh Vishwavidyalaya Adhiniyam, 1973 (Act 22 of
1973) in particular to the Objects and Reasons and contended by
making reference to the object of the said Act, which purported to
consolidate and amend the law relating to Universities and to
make better provisions for the organization and administration of
Universities in Madhya Pradesh. The learned counsel further
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 44 of
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contended that the various provisions of the said Act viz., Section
4(17), Section 6 (1) & (8), Sections 7, 12, 24, 25, 26 and 39
provides the required authority to the State Government to
regulate the manner of functioning of the Universities in the State
of Madhya Pradesh, including the appellant University.
63. As far as the legislative competence is concerned, the learned
counsel referred to Entries 63 to 66 of List-I, which deals with “Coordination and determination of standards in institutions for
higher education or research and scientific and technical
institutions”. By referring to Entry 32 of List – II, which deals with
incorporation and regulation of Universities, as well as Entry 25 of
List – III, which again deals with Education, including technical
education, medical education and Universities, subject to the
provisions of Entries 63, 64, 65 and 66 of List I, the learned
counsel contended what was taken away was only “co-ordination
and determination of standards of education” as covered by
Entries 63 to 66 and by virtue of the enabling provision in Entry 32
of List-II, which empowers the State Government for incorporating
an University and regulating its functioning, ample powers are
vested with the State Government to pass the impugned
legislation. The learned counsel therefore, contended that Section
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 45 of
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4(1) only deals with the scope within which the appellant
University can function and that it does not talk about curriculum
or standard. In such circumstances, when the said provision
empowers the University to set up an institution by regulating the
same by taking certain measures, it cannot be held that such an
exercise can be questioned on the ground of lack of competence.
64. The learned counsel would contend that the amendment
introduced by the State Government was in public interest, which
falls squarely under Entry 32 of List-II, as well as Entry 25 of List-III
and therefore, there was no repugnancy with Entry 66 of List-I of
the Constitution. In support of the above submission, the learned
counsel also referred to Section 2(f) of the University Grants
Commission Act, 1956 and contended that the definition of the
term ‘University’ under the said Act means a University
established or incorporated by or under a Central Act, a Provincial
Act or a State Act and therefore, the University which was
established under the 1995 Act can always be regulated by the
State Government by passing appropriate amendments to the Act
by which the State created the said University.
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 46 of
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65. The learned counsel also referred to Section 12 of the
University Grants Commission Act, 1956 to contend that the
general duty of the Commission is to take, in consultation with the
Universities or other bodies concerned, all such steps as it may
think fit for the promotion and co-ordination of University
education and for the determination and maintenance of
standards of teaching, apart from examination and research in
Universities for which it can take certain actions. In support of her
submission, the learned counsel relied upon the decisions
reported in AIR 1964 SC 1823 (R. Chitralekha Vs. State of
Mysore), 1963 Supp (1) SCR 112 (The Gujarat University,
Ahmedabad Vs. Krishna Ranganath Mudholkar and Ors),
1987 (3) SCR 949 (Osmania Universtity Teachers’
Association Vs. State of Andhra Pradesh and Anr.) and
(1999) 7 SCC 120 (Dr. Preeti Srivastava and another Vs.
State of M.P.). The learned counsel also relied upon (2009) 4
SCC 590 (Annamalai University Vs. Secretary to
Government, Information and Tourism Department) and
(2004) 4 SCC 513 (State of Tamil Nadu Vs. S.V.Bratheep).
66. The sum and substance of the submissions of the learned
counsel for the State was that the state had competence to
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 47 of
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legislate by introducing the amendments, that the autonomy of
the appellant University was also subject to the regulation by the
State and that the only thing to be ensured was that such
regulatory measures should be reasonable and in consonance
with Article 19(1)(j) of the Constitution.
67. On the proviso to Section 4, the learned counsel contended
that so long as the Centre is connected with the establishment of
University, it would fall under Entry 32 of List-II and therefore, the
said proviso was rightly held to be intra-vires by the Division
Bench. According to the learned counsel, the effect of the
amendment was not a curtailment, but was only by way of
clarification. According to the learned counsel to interpret the
amendment, the principle of Mischief Rule will have to be applied.
The learned counsel further contended that the word “and” used
in the Preamble, as well as under Section (4), will have to be read
conjunctively and relied upon 1987 (2) SCR 1 (Reserve Bank
of India Vs. Peerless General Finance and Investment Co.
Ltd., and Others) and (1987) 3 SCC 279 (Utkal Contractors
and Joiners Pvt. Ltd., and Ors Vs. State of Orissa and
others).
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68. Having heard the learned senior counsel for the appellant, as
well as the learned counsel for the State, and having bestowed
our serious consideration to the respective submissions and
having perused the scholarly judgment of the Division Bench and
other material papers, at the very outset we are of the view that
providing education in an University is the primary concern and
objective, while all other activities would only be incidental and
adjunct. In this context, it would be worthwhile to emphasis the
importance of education which has been emphasised in the
'Neethishatakam' by Bhartruhari (First Century B.C.) in the
following words: "Translation: Education is the special
manifestation of man; Education is the treasure which can be
preserved without the fear of loss; Education secures material
pleasure, happiness and fame; Education is the teacher of the
teacher; Education is God incarnate; Education secures honour at
the hands of the State, not money; A man without education is
equal to animal." For this very reason, we have elaborately
stated the importance of education as stated by the Father of our
Nation, other renowned Authors and great men in public life as
well as the mindset of our Constitutional framers in paragraphs 22
to 42. We have also referred to some of the leading judgments of
this Court where it has already been held that Right to Education
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is a Fundamental Right, guaranteed by Article 21 of our
Constitution.
69. Keeping the said basic principles in mind, when we examine
the issue involved in this appeal, the burden of the appellant was
that though under Section 4(1), reference to Vedic learning and its
allied subjects was made in the opening sentence, the University
was not established under the 1995 Act, only for the purpose of
imparting education in Vedas alone, but it was intended for
spreading the knowledge of Vedas and simultaneously to teach
Sanskrit, science and technology and also as specifically
mentioned in Section 4, for spreading of knowledge in all fields.
In fact, in the pursuit of our above perception, we have quoted
extensively the view points of various personalities, as well as the
importance of education and the various constitutional provisions,
which were incorporated mainly with a view to spread education
in the independent India in order to ensure that the Society is
enlightened and by such enlightenment the rights of the people
and orderly society is ensured in this Country. Also while referring
to a decision of this Court rendered in Mamata Mohanty
(supra), the importance of imparting education is emphasized as
hereunder:
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“29. Education is the systematic instruction, schooling
or training given to the young persons in preparation
for the work of life. It also connotes the whole course
of scholastic instruction which a person has received.
Education connotes the process of training and
developing the knowledge, skill, mind and character of
students by formal schooling….”
***
33. In view of the above, it is evident that education is
necessary to develop the personality of a person as a
whole and in totality as it provides the process of
training and acquiring the knowledge, skills,
developing mind and character by formal schooling.
Therefore, it is necessary to maintain a high academic
standard and academic discipline along with academic
rigour for the progress of a nation. Democracy
depends for its own survival on a high standard of
vocational and professional education. Paucity of funds
cannot be a ground for the State not to provide quality
education to its future citizens. It is for this reason that
in order to maintain the standard of education the
State Government provides grant-in-aid to private
schools to ensure the smooth running of the institution
so that the standard of teaching may not suffer for
want of funds.”
70. With the above said prelude, as regards the importance of
education in an orderly society, when we come to the core issue,
the appellant was aggrieved by the amendment Act 5 of 2000 by
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which Section 4(1) of 1995 Act was altered and thereby, the State
want to contend that the appellant University can impart
education only in the field of Vedic learning and practices,
including Darshan, Agam Tantra, Itihas, Puranas and Upvedas.
‘Darshan’ means a proper reading of one’s own self and the
environment. Agam Tantra is oriental research, which includes
history and geography. Itihas, Puranas as the very words
suggest, relates to history. Upvedas are part of Vedas. The
section as it originally stood stated that the University can provide
education in all branches of Vedic learning and practices, which
also mentioned Gyan-Vigyan, as well as promotion and
development of the study of Sanskrit as the University may from
time to time determine. It also mentioned that the University can
make provision for research and for the advancement and
dissemination of knowledge.
71. According to Mr. L. Nageshwar Rao, the learned senior
counsel for the appellant, the words “and” preceding the
expression “Gyan-Vigyan”, “the promotion and development of
study of Sanskrit”, “as well as for the advancement and
dissemination of knowledge”, have to be read disjunctively and
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 52 of
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not conjunctively with the first part of the provision viz.,
“providing for instruction in all branches of Vedic learning”.
72. As against the above submission, Ms. Makhija the learned
counsel for the State would contend that having regard to the
manner in which the provision has been couched, it will have to
be read conjunctively and not disjunctively.
73. Both the learned counsel referred to the Preamble in support
of their submissions. When we refer to the Preamble of the 1995
Act, we find that it has been stated that “an Act to establish and
incorporate a University in the State of Madhya Pradcsh and to
provide for education and prosecution of research in Vedic
learnings and practices and to provide for matters connected
therewith or incidental thereto." Here again, while Mr.Nageshwar
Rao the learned senior counsel would contend that the expression
“and” used clearly distinguish each set of expression, according
to the learned counsel for the State, the same will have to be read
conjunctively.
74. Having considered the various submissions and the analysis
made based on detailed circumstances leading to the intricacies
of Vedas, the field it covers, as noted by the Division Bench, as
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well as the concept of education, which has been explained by
very many learned and prominent persons to whom we have
made detailed references to in the earlier part of our judgment,
we are of the considered view that education is the base for every
other subject to be taught in the process of learning. Therefore,
establishment of the University as the Preamble goes to state was
to provide for education in the forefront. It will be appropriate to
hold that such a provision for education in so far as the appellant
University was concerned, should concentrate and focus in the
prosecution of research in Vedic learning and practices and to
provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
While holding so, it will have to be stated in uncontroverted terms
that merely because such specific reference was made to
prosecution of research in Vedic learnings, it could be held that
the imparting of education in the appellant University should be
restricted to the said subject alone and not in any other subject.
75. In our considered view, such a narrow interpretation would
be doing violence to the very basic concept of education, and
would create a serious restrain on the University, where,
imparting of education is the primary objective and dealing with
any specific subject may be for enabling any one to acquire
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 54 of
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special knowledge on such subjects. In other words, any such
restrictive interpretation would go against the basic tenets of the
concept of education, which no Court can venture to state.
76. In this context, we must state that if such a narrow
interpretation is sought to be placed, it would even create an
embargo in the prosecution of research in Vedic learning and
practices. In this context, as has been widely considered and
referred to by the Division Bench, which we have also noted, in a
precise form in the earlier part of the judgment, we find that
Vedas has not left any subject untouched. The Division Bench has
noted in paragraphs 20 and 30 the various fields, which have
been dealt with and associated in Vedas. The Division Bench has
gone to the extent of saying that some scientists have seen the
atomic dance in the deity of 'Natraj'. It has also been noted that
mathematic formulae are much more concise and precise in
Vedas. It is said that Vedic learning is concerned with human
anatomy and physiology. It was further found that there were
enough materials in Vedas, which pertains to seed production,
crop production, sericulture, health care, management, beauty
culture, marketing and accounting. In fact, according to the
Maharshi, who was the man behind the establishment of the
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appellant University, in order to develop the limitless inner
potential of students and teachers, the only solution is education
and to achieve that end, according to him, ancient Vedic sciences
have to be revived and the knowledge for systematic unfolding
the range of human consciousness. In fact, this knowledge was
stated to be Maharshi technology of the unified field, which
included Transcendental Meditation and Transcendental
Meditation Siddhi Programmes. It is also stated that
Transcendental Meditation is learnt by more than three million
people worldwide and implemented in public and private
educational institutions in more than 20 countries through
Universities, colleges, schools and educational institutions.
Therefore, considering the very purport and intent of the
Maharshi, who relentlessly fought for the establishment of the
appellant University for nearly four decades and ultimately
achieved the said objective for establishing the University, it can
never be held that his sole purport was only to spread vedic
learning and nothing else. Therefore, in that view when we
examine the respective submissions of the learned counsel we
find force in the submission of the learned senior counsel for the
appellant when he contended that by virtue of the amendment,
the un-amended Section 4(1) will become meaningless and that
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the very purport of establishing the appellant University would
become a futile exercise, if it were to restrict its courses only to
mere Vedic learning, without providing scope for learning all other
incidental and ancillary subjects dealt with by Vedas viz., all other
worldly subjects such as, Project Management, Finance
Management, Crop Management, Human Resource Management,
mathematics and other sciences for which fundamental basic
provisions have been prescribed in Vedas and practices including,
Darshan, Agam Tantra, Itihas, Puranas and Upvedas.
77. It will have to be stated that the expression Gyan-Vigyan was
specifically mentioned in Section 4(1), not merely to make a
scientific study of what is contained in Vedas, as even such a
study may not fulfill the purpose for which the University was
created. When we think aloud as to what would happen if a
scientific study exclusively about Vedas is made, we wonder
whether for that purpose a creation of a University would have
been necessitated. On the other hand, it is the other way around,
in as much as Vedas contains very many scientific subjects such
as, mathematics, study about atoms, human anatomy and
physiology and other formulae. At this juncture, the inclusion of
the expression “Gyan-Vigyan”, will have to be understood to have
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 57 of
been inserted with a view to study modern science and
technology as it exists and study the same in consonance with the
basic principles contained in Vedas and puranas. In fact, such an
approach, while reading the provisions in our considered opinion,
would be the proper way of reading the said provisions and not as
contended by the learned counsel for the State that the study of
Gyan-Vigyan should be exclusively for the purpose of
understanding Vedas and Vedic principles. We have earlier
explained what is “Gyan Vigyan” by making reference to an
Article “From Newton to Nirvana: Science, Vigyan and Gyan” by
Dr.Subash Sharma, Dean of Indian Business Academy, Noida.
Based on the said Article, we have noted that Gyan Vigyan is
nothing but a systematic study of science through senses by
applying one’s mind with absolute consciousness. If it is the
meaning to be attributed to the expression “Gyan Vigyan”, it will
have to be held that the said expression used in Section 4(1)
cannot be restricted to a mere study on Vedas and its practices.
Such a narrow interpretation will be doing violence to the whole
concept of Gyan Vigyan, which as explained by Dr. Subash
Sharma, is the combination of human senses, mind and
consciousness, which should be applied to every aspect of human
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 58 of
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life, which would include all other academic subjects viz., science,
mathematics, philosophy, management, etc.
78. In this context, when we refer to the expression “promotion
and development of the study of Sanskrit as the University may
from time to time determine”, we find that even indisputably the
said provision for the study of Sanskrit is totally unconnected to
the learning of Vedas and its allied subjects, except that the
scripts of Vedas may be in Sanskrit. For that purpose, there need
not necessarily be a specific provision to the effect that there
should be promotion and development of the study of Sanskrit.
Therefore, apart from Vedic learning and its practices, the
establishment of the appellant University was for the purpose of
providing education in the field of science and technology,
intensive learning of Sanskrit and provision for research in every
other field for the advancement and disbursement of knowledge.
79. We are of the considered opinion that only such an
interpretation to the un-amended Section 4(1) would be the only
way of interpretation that can be accorded to the said provision.
Once, we steer clear of the interpretation of the said provision in
the above said manner, we find that the amendment, which was
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introduced by Act 5 of 2000, was clearly intended to purposely do
away with its original intendment and thereby, restrict the scope
of activities of the appellant University to the learning of Vedas
and its practices and nothing else. The restriction so created by
introducing the amendment was self-destructive and thereby, the
original object and purpose of establishing the appellant
University was done away with. In this context, the framing of the
Ordinance 15, which provided for the study on various courses in
the appellant University was consciously approved by the State
Government without any inhibition. A perusal of the course
contents in the Ordinance discloses that there were as many as
49 courses connected with Vedic learning and practices and about
33 courses on other subjects. By introducing the amendment
under Act 5 of 2000 and thereby, insisting that imparting of
education in the appellant University can be restricted only to
Vedic learning and that the science and technology should also be
only for the purpose of learning Vedas and its practices, will have
to be stated unhesitatingly as creating a formidable restriction on
the right to education, which is a guaranteed Constitutional right
and thereby, clearly violating Articles 14 and 21 of the
Constitution. Equally, the addition of the expression “in the above
fields and in these fields may........." while deleting the expression
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“dissemination of knowledge”, in our considered opinion,
drastically interfered with the right to education sought to be
advanced by the University by its creation originally under the
1995 Act, which restriction now sought to be imposed can never
be held to be a reasonable restriction, nor can it be held to have
any rationale, while creating such a restriction by way of an
amendment to Section 4(1).
80. Having regard to our fundamental approach to the issue
raised in this appeal and our conclusion as stated above, we are
convinced that the arguments based on the Legislative
competence also pales into insignificance. Even without
addressing the said question, we have in as much found that by
virtue of the amendment introduced to Section 4(1), an embargo
has been clearly created in one’s right to seek for education,
which is a Constitutionally protected Fundamental Right.
Therefore, there was a clear violation of Articles 14 and 21 of the
Constitution and consequently, such a provision by way of an
amendment cannot stand the scrutiny of the Court of Law. To
support our conclusion, we wish to refer to the following decisions
rendered by this Court, right from Mohini Jain case, viz.,
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(i) Society for Unaided Private Schools of Rajasthan v. Union of
India- (2012) 6 SCC 1
(ii) Bhartiya Seva Samaj Trust v. Yogeshbhai Ambalal Patel -
(2012) 9 SCC 310
(iii) State of T.N. v. K. Shyam Sunder (2011) 8 SCC 737
(iv) Satimbla Sharma v. St. Paul's Sr. Sec. School (2011) 13 SCC
760
(v) Ashoka Kumar Thakur v. Union of India - (2008) 6 SCC 1;
wherein, this Court has consistently held that Right to Education is
a Fundamental Right. Thus, our conclusion is fortified by the
various judgments of this Court, wherein, it has been held that
imparting of education is a Fundamental Right, in as much as, we
have held that the establishment of the appellant University was
mainly for the purpose of imparting education, while promotion of
Vedic learning is one of the primary objectives of the University.
Any attempt on the part of the State to interfere with the said
main object viz., imparting of education, would amount to an
infringement of the Fundamental Right guaranteed under the
Constitution. Consequently, the amendment, which was
introduced under the 1995 Act to Section 4(1) and also the
insertion of the proviso, has to be held ultra-vires.
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81. Having arrived at the above conclusion, when we examine
the stand of the State, at the very outset, we are not persuaded to
accede to the submission of the learned counsel that the
amendment was only by way of a clarification of the existing
provision. In fact, the Division Bench also proceeded on the
footing that ‘dissemination of knowledge’ as it originally existed,
did not empower the University to provide education to other
courses other than Vedas and its practices. With great respect to
the Division Bench, we are of the view that such an approach was
directly in conflict with the basic principle of the Constitutionally
protected Fundamental Right, the Right to Education and
consequently the said line of reasoning of the Division Bench and
the submissions on that basis cannot also be countenanced.
82. In fact, in this context, the decision relied upon by the learned
counsel for the respondent State reported in (1987) 4 SCC 671
(Osmania University Teachers’ Association Vs. State of
Andhra Pradesh and another), rather than supporting the
respondent State can be usefully applied to state that
“dissemination of knowledge” in every respect would apply to any
subject and cannot be restricted to any particular subject. In
paragraph 30 of the said decision, while concluding as to the role
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of the University Grants Commission in the matter of academic
education, it has been stated as under:
“…Dissemination of learning with search for
new knowledge with discipline all round
must be maintained at all costs. It is hoped
that University Grants Commission will duly
discharge its responsibility to the Nation and play
an increasing role to bring about the needed
transformation in the academic life of the
University.” (Emphasis added)
83. The above sentence amply establishes that dissemination of
learning is for acquisition of knowledge in every kind of discipline
and that such a perception should be maintained at all cost. We
therefore, hold that “dissemination of knowledge” as it originally
stood in Section 4(1), which was deleted by way of the
Amendment Act 5 of 2000, caused havoc by restricting the scope
of acquisition of knowledge to be gathered by an individual from
the facilities made available in the appellant University. We make
it clear that it can never be held that the said expression used in
the un-amended Section 4(1) can be held to have a limited
application for acquisition of knowledge on Vedas alone and not in
other fields.
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 64 of
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84. As far as the argument of the learned counsel for the
respondent based on the expression used in the Preamble was
concerned, at the very outset, it will have to be held that the
Preamble cannot control the scope of the applicability of the Act.
If the provision contained in the main Act are clear and without
any ambiguity and the purpose of the Legislation can be thereby
duly understood without any effort, there is no necessity to even
look into the Preamble for that purpose.
85. In fact, the Division Bench itself has made reference to a
decision of this Court in Union of India Vs. Elphinstone
Spinning and Weaving Co. Ltd. and others etc., reported in
AIR 2001 SC 724. The extent to which a Preamble of an Act can
be referred to or relied upon has been succinctly stated as under :
“…The preamble of an Act, no doubt can also be read
along with other provisions of the Act to find out the
meaning of the words in enacting provision to decide
whether they are clear or ambiguous but the preamble
in itself not being an enacting provision is not of the
same weight as an aid to construction of a Section of
the Act as are other relevant enacting words to be
found elsewhere in the Act. The utility of the preamble
diminishes on a conclusion as to clarity of enacting
provisions. It is, therefore, said that the preamble
is not to influence the meaning otherwise
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 65 of
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ascribable to the enacting parts unless there is
a compelling reason for it. If in an Act the preamble
is general or brief statement of the main purpose, it
may well be of little value…. We cannot, therefore,
start with the preamble for construing the provisions of
an Act, though we could be justified in resorting to it
nay we will be required to do so if we find that the
language used by Parliament is ambiguous or is too
general though in point of fact Parliament intended
that it should have a limited application….” (Emphasis
added)
86. The above statement of law makes the position abundantly
clear that it is the statutory provision, which will have to be read
and analyzed for the purpose of understanding the scope and
purport for which the Legislation was intended and the brief
statement contained in the Preamble will be of very little value.
That apart, we have noted in the earlier part of the judgment as to
how even a reading of the Preamble shows the importance
attached to imparting of education in the appellant University, as
has been highlighted in the forefront while making a mention
about the other aspects of providing scope for research oriented
education on Vedas and its practices by the appellant University.
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87. In the light of our above discussions, we hold that the
submission of the learned counsel for the State by making a
detailed reference to the Preamble is of no assistance to the
respondents. For the very same reason, the arguments of the
learned counsel that any course to be conducted in the appellant
University should be Vedic centric cannot also be countenanced.
On the other hand, as held by this Court in Osmania University
case, “dissemination of knowledge” as originally incorporated in
the un-amended Section 4(1) alone would serve the purpose of
effective functioning of the appellant University in imparting and
spreading knowledge on every other field available, apart from
providing intensive educational curriculum in Vedic learning and
its practices.
88. In the light of our above conclusion, the deletion of the said
expression will have to be held to be an arbitrary action of the
respondent State and thereby, violating equality in law and equal
protection of law as enshrined under Article 14 of the Constitution,
in as much as all other Universities, which were being controlled
and administered by the State by the 1973 Act, enjoy the freedom
of setting up any course with the approval of the University
Grants Commission, the appellant alone would be deprived of
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such a right and liberty by restricting the scope of imparting
education in any field other than Vedas and its practices.
89. As far as the decision relied upon by the learned counsel for
the State for the proposition that the word “and” in the Preamble,
as well as in Section 4 will have to be read conjunctively viz., the
decision reported in (1987) 3 SCC 279 (Utkal Contractors and
Joiners Pvt. Ltd. and Ors Vs. State of Orissa and others), in
the light of our conclusions based on the context in which the
1995 Act was brought into force and the reading of Section 4(1) in
the said context, the expression “and” used in the said Section
will have to be necessarily read disjunctively. We do not find any
scope to apply the said decision to the facts of this case.
90. As far as the decision reported in 1987 (1) SCC 424
(Reserve Bank of India Vs. Peerless General Finance and
Investment Co. Ltd., and Others), we find the following
paragraph as more relevant in order to appreciate the present
controversy with which we are concerned; paragraph 33 reads as
under:
33. Interpretation must depend on the text and the
context. They are the bases of interpretation. One
may well say if the text is the texture, context is
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what gives the colour. Neither can be ignored. Both
are important. That interpretation is best which
makes the textual interpretation match the
contextual. A statute is best interpreted when we
know why it was enacted. With this knowledge, the
statute must be read, first as a whole and then section
by section, clause by clause, phrase by phrase and
word by word. If a statute is looked at, in the context of
its enactment, with the glasses of the statute-maker,
provided by such context, its scheme, the sections,
clauses, phrases and words may take colour and
appear different than when the statute is looked at
without the glasses provided by the context. With
these glasses we must look at the Act as a whole and
discover what each section, each clause, each phrase
and each word is meant and designed to say as to fit
into the scheme of the entire Act. No part of a statute
and no word of a statute can be construed in isolation.
Statutes have to be construed so that every word has a
place and everything is in its place….”
(Emphasis added)
91. Reading the said paragraph and having analyzed the 1995
Act on the whole along with the Preamble, the various definition
clauses, Section 4(1) and the sub-clauses (ii) to (xxviii) and the
provision providing for enacting the Statutes and Ordinances, we
have to hold that the expression “and” used in Section 4(1) will
have to be read disjunctively and not conjunctively. In this
context, we wish to rely on the decision rendered by this Court in
Prof. Yashpal and another (supra), wherein, it has been held
in paragraph 17 as under:
“17. In Constitutional Law of India by Seervai, the
learned author has said in para 2.12 (3rd Edn.) that the
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golden rule of interpretation is that words should be
read in their ordinary, natural and grammatical
meaning subject to the rider that in construing
words in a Constitution conferring legislative
power the most liberal construction should be
put upon the words so that they may have effect
in their widest amplitude. This is subject to certain
exceptions and a restricted meaning may be given to
words if it is necessary to prevent a conflict between
two exclusive entries.” (Emphasis added)
92. Besides the above two decisions, which discuss about the
methodology of interpretation of a Statute, we also refer to the
following decisions rendered by this Court in Ishwar Singh
Bindra (supra), wherein in para 11 it has been held as under:
“11……..It would be much more appropriate in the
context to read it disconjunctively. In Stroud's Judicial
Dictionary, 3rd Edn. it is stated at p. 135 that “and”
has generally a cumulative sense, requiring the
fulfillment of all the conditions that it joins together,
and herein it is the antithesis of or. Sometimes,
however, even in such a connection, it is, by force of a
contexts, read as “or”. Similarly in Maxwell on
Interpretation of Statutes, 11th Edn., it has
been accepted that “to carry out the intention
of the legislature it is occasionally found
necessary to read the conjunctions ‘or' and ‘and'
one for the other”.”(Emphasis added)
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93. We may also refer to para 4 of the decision rendered by this
Court in (1987) 3 SCC 208 (Joint Director of Mines and
Safety Vs. T & N Stone Quarries (P) Ltd.,) :
“4. According to the plain meaning, the exclusionary
clause in sub-section (1) of Section 3 of the Act read
with the two provisos beneath clauses (a) and (b), the
word “and” at the end of para (b) of sub-clause (ii) of
the proviso to clause (a) of Section 3(1) must in the
context in which it appears, be construed as “or”; and
if so construed, the existence of any one of the three
conditions stipulated in paras (a), (b) and (c) would at
once attract the proviso to clauses (a) and (b) of subsection (1) of Section 3 and thereby make the mine
subject to the provisions of the Act. The High Court
overlooked the fact that the use of the negative
language in each of the three clauses implied that the
word “and” used at the end of clause (b) had to be
read disjunctively. That construction of ours is in
keeping with the legislative intent manifested
by the scheme of the Act which is primarily
meant for ensuring the safety of workmen
employed in the mines.”
(Emphasis added)
94. Applying the ratio as laid down in the above mentioned
decisions, we are convinced that our above conclusion is fully
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 71 of
supported by the said principles and therefore, we are not inclined
to hold that the expression “and” used in the Preamble, as well as
in Section 4 should be read conjunctively as contended by the
learned counsel for the State. On the other hand, in the context in
which the said expression is used, it will have to be read as “or”
creating a disjunctive reading of the provision.
95. In this context it will be worthwhile to refer to what Scrutton,
L.J. has stated in the celebrated decision reported in Green Vs.
Premier Glynrhonwy State Co. (1928) 1 KB 561, “You do
sometimes read ‘or’ as ‘and’ in a statute. But you do not do it
unless you are obliged because ‘or’ does not generally mean ‘and’
and ‘and’ does not generally mean ‘or’ ”. And as pointed out by
Lord Halsbury the reading of ‘or’ as ‘and’ is not to be resorted to,
‘unless some other part of the same statute or the clear intention
of it requires that to be done’. [refer Mersey Docks and
Harbour Board Vs. Henderson Bros., (1888) 13 AC 595 at
pg.603 (HL)]. In fact in the case on hand we have found that
though the expression ‘and’ has been used, prior to the
expression ‘promotion and development of the study of
Sanskrit…..’ and again prior to the set of expression ‘for the
advancement’ and again prior to the set of expression
‘dissemination of knowledge’, the context in which the Legislation
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was brought into force and reading the said section along with the
Preamble and other sub clauses of Section 4, the expression ‘and’
has to be read disjunctively and not conjunctively. Therefore,
even applying the principle laid down by Lord Scrutton and Lord
Halsbury, we are fortified by our conclusion that in the case on
hand the expression ‘dissemination of knowledge’, as well as
‘promotion and development of the study of Sanskrit’ and ‘to
make provision for research’, were all expressions which have
been used disjunctively and not conjunctively with the words
Vedic learning and practice.
96. The decision relied upon by the learned senior counsel for the
appellant reported in Hansoli Devi (supra), para 9 also supports
the above proposition of law. Para 9 of the said decision reads as
under:
“9. Before we embark upon an inquiry as to what
would be the correct interpretation of Section 28-A, we
think it appropriate to bear in mind certain basic
principles of interpretation of a statute. The rule stated
by Tindal, C.J. in Sussex Peerage case still holds the
field. The aforesaid rule is to the effect: (ER p. 1057)
“If the words of the statute are in
themselves precise and unambiguous, then no
more can be necessary than to expound those
words in their natural and ordinary sense. The
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 73 of
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words themselves alone do, in such case, best
declare the intention of the lawgiver.”
It is no doubt true that if on going through the
plain meaning of the language of statutes, it
leads to anomalies, injustices and absurdities,
then the court may look into the purpose for
which the statute has been brought and would
try to give a meaning, which would adhere to
the purpose of the statute……”
97. The above said proposition of law laid down by this Court fully
supports the claim of the appellant.
98. With this, when we come to the other submission of the
learned counsel for the appellant relating to the challenge made
to the proviso added to Section 4., the proviso which has been
added is to the effect that no courses should be conducted and no
centers should be established or run without the prior approval of
the State Government. The contention of the learned counsel for
the appellant before the Division Bench, as well as before us was
that the creation of courses, as well as the centers are governed
by the provisions of 1995 Act and such activities of the appellant
University can at best be regulated only by the University Grants
Commission, by virtue of the statutory prescription under Section
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12 of the University Grants Commission Act, read along with Entry
66 of List-I of the Constitution and that the State Legislature has
no competence to deal with the said issue.
99. While dealing with the above contention, the Division Bench
after making a detailed reference to various Entries commencing
from Entries 63 to 66 of List-I, as well as Entry 25 of List-III and
also Section 12 of the Universities Grants Commission Act, 1956
ultimately held that having regard to the inclusion of the appellant
University in the list of Universities maintained by the Commission
under Section 2(f) of the 1956 Act, as reflected in Annexure P-5,
dated 24.08.1988, the existence of Ordinance 15, which came
into being in accordance with law that once the University Grants
Commission Act is in force, the running of the courses and
determination thereof, has to be controlled by the University
Grants Commission. The proviso stipulating that no course should
be conducted and no centers should be established and run
without the prior approval of the State Government. The
restriction is so far as it related to conduct of courses is
concerned, the same was beyond the Legislative competence of
the State Legislature. So holding thus, the Division Bench
declared that the proviso so far as it related to the aspect that no
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 75 of
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course should be conducted and run without the prior approval of
the State, was ultra vires and beyond the Legislative competence
of the State Legislature.
100. This Court in Prof. Yashpal and another (supra) held in
paragraphs 28, 33 and 34 as under:
“28. Though incorporation of a university as a
legislative head is a State subject (Entry 32 List II) but
basically a university is an institution for higher
education and research. Entry 66 of List I is
coordination and determination of standards in
institutions for higher education or research and
scientific and technical institutions. There can thus be
a clash between the powers of the State and that of
the Union. The interplay of various entries in this
regard in the three lists of the Seventh Schedule and
the real import of Entry 66 of List I have been
examined in several decisions of this Court. In Gujarat
University v. Krishna Ranganath Mudholkar a decision
by a Constitution Bench rendered prior to the Forty second Amendment when Entry 11 of List II was in
existence, it was held that Items 63 to 66 of List I are
carved out of the subject of education and in respect
of these items the power to legislate is vested
exclusively in Parliament. The use of the expression
“subject to” in Item 11 of List II of the Seventh
Schedule clearly indicates that the legislation in
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 76 of
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respect of excluded matters cannot be undertaken by
the State Legislatures. In AIR para 23, the Court held
as under: (SCR pp. 137-38)
 “Power of the State to legislate in respect of
education including universities must to the extent to
which it is entrusted to the Union Parliament, whether
such power is exercised or not, be deemed to be
restricted. If a subject of legislation is covered by
Items 63 to 66 even if it otherwise falls within the
larger field of ‘education including universities’ power
to legislate on that subject must lie with Parliament. …
Item 11 of List II and Item 66 of List I must be
harmoniously construed. The two entries
undoubtedly overlap: but to the extent of
overlapping, the power conferred by Item 66
List I must prevail over the power of the State
under Item 11 of List II. It is manifest that the
excluded heads deal primarily with education in
institutions of national or special importance and
institutions of higher education including research,
sciences, technology and vocational training of
labour.”
***
33. The consistent and settled view of this
Court, therefore, is that in spite of incorporation
of universities as a legislative head being in the
State List, the whole gamut of the university
which will include teaching, quality of education
being imparted, curriculum, standard of
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 77 of
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examination and evaluation and also research
activity being carried on will not come within
the purview of the State Legislature on account
of a specific entry on coordination and
determination of standards in institutions for
higher education or research and scientific and
technical education being in the Union List for
which Parliament alone is competent. It is the
responsibility of Parliament to ensure that proper
standards are maintained in institutions for higher
education or research throughout the country and also
uniformity in standards is maintained.
34. In order to achieve the aforesaid purpose,
Parliament has enacted the University Grants
Commission Act. First para of the Statement of Objects
and Reasons of the University Grants Commission Act,
1956 (for short “the UGC Act”) is illustrative and
consequently it is being reproduced below:
“The Constitution of India vests Parliament with
exclusive authority in regard to ‘coordination and
determination of standards in institutions for higher
education or research and scientific and technical
institutions’. It is obvious that neither coordination nor
determination of standards is possible unless the
Central Government has some voice in the
determination of standards of teaching and
examination in universities, both old and new. It is also
necessary to ensure that the available resources are
utilised to the best possible effect. The problem has
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 78 of
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become more acute recently on account of the
tendency to multiply universities. The need for a
properly constituted Commission for determining and
allocating to universities funds made available by the
Central Government has also become more urgent on
this account.” (Emphasis added)
101. In yet another decision, this Court has held in para 7 of the
decision reported in R. Chitralekha (supra) as follows:
“7. …This and similar other passages indicate that if
the law made by the State by virtue of entry 11 of List
II of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution makes
impossible or difficult the exercise of the legisiative
power of the Parliament under the entry "Co-ordination
and determination of standards in institutions for
higher education or research and scientific and
technical institutions" reserved to the Union, the State
law may be bad. This cannot obviously be decided on
speculative and hypothetical reasoning. If the impact
of the State law providing for such standards on entry
66 of List I is so heavy or devastating as to wipe out or
appreciably abridge the central field, it may be struck
down. But that is a question of fact to be ascertained
in each case….
102. While considering the submission of the learned senior
counsel for the appellant, it will be worthwhile to make a
reference to Section 12 of the University Grants Commission Act,
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 79 of
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1956 wherein while describing the functions of the University
Grants Commission, it has been stipulated that it is the general
duty of the Commission to take, in consultation with the
Universities or other bodies concerned, all such steps as it may
think fit for the promotion and co-ordination of University
education and for the determination and maintenance of
standards of teaching, examination and research in Universities,
and for the purpose of performing its functions under this Act, the
Commission may hold certain enquiry and do certain other
activities. In fact, the Division Bench while holding that conduct
of courses come exclusively within the realm of control of the
University Grants Commission, apparently relied upon the said
provision.
103. In fact the Division Bench has made a specific reference to
the expression used in the said Section, while ultimately holding
that it was within the exclusive jurisdiction of the University
Grants Commission i.e., the running of the Courses. The Division
Bench has held to the effect “we have no hesitation in our mind
that once the University Grants Commission Act is in force, the
running of the courses and determination thereof has to be
controlled by the University Grants Commission”. The said sets of
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expressions have been more or less borrowed from the
expression used in Section 12 itself.
104. When we examine the ultimate conclusion of the Division
Bench that such a control by the University Grants Commission
will not extend to the running of the centers, we are of the
considered view that what all may apply to conduct of courses,
should equally apply to the running of centers as well. In this
context, it will be worthwhile to make a further reference to the
stipulation contained in Section 12 of the University Grants
Commission Act, which makes the position clear. Under Section
12, the general duty of the Commission to take in consultation
with the Universities or other bodies is concerned, is all such steps
as it may think fit for the promotion and co-ordination of
University education and for the determination and maintenance
of standards of teaching, examination and research in
Universities. It also further stipulates that such a decision should
be taken by the University Grants Commission for the purpose of
the Universities to perform its functions under the Act. The
Division Bench itself has noted that the running of the courses
and determination thereof, can be controlled only by the
University Grants Commission by virtue of the operation of
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 81 of
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Section 12. If it is for the University Grants Commission to take a
decision in consultation with the Universities, such steps as it
thinks fit for the promotion and co-ordination of Universities
education, then it will have to be held that, that it should include,
apart from the course content, the manner in which education is
imparted viz., the process of teaching, while at the same time
ensuring the standard of such teaching is maintained by deciding
as to whether such teaching process can be allowed to be
imparted in places other than the University campus viz., in the
centers or other colleges.
105. In our considered opinion, Section 12 of the University
Grants Commission Act, 1956 would encompass apart from
determining the course contents with reference to which the
standard of teaching and its maintenance is to be monitored by
the University Grants Commission, would also include the
infrastructure that may be made available, either in the University
or in other campuses, such as the centers, in order to ensure that
such standard of education, teaching and examination, as well as
research are maintained without any fall in standrard. Therefore,
while upholding the conclusion of the Division Bench that it is
beyond the legislative competence of the State Legislature to
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 82 of
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stipulate any restriction, as regards the conduct of the courses by
getting the approval of the State Government, in the same breath,
such lack of competence would equally apply to the running of
the centers as well.
106. In Dr. Preeti Srivastava (supra) while dealing with the
scope of Entry 66 of List-I vis-à-vis Entry 25 of List-III, this Court
considered on what basis the standard of education in an
institution can be analyzed. In paragraph 36, it has been held
as under:
“36….. Standards of education in an institution or
college depend on various factors. Some of these are:
(1) The caliber of the teaching staff; (2) A proper
syllabus designed to achieve a high level of education
in the given span of time; (3) The student-teacher
ratio; (4) The ratio between the students and the
hospital beds available to each student; (5) The caliber
of the students admitted to the institution; (6)
Equipment and laboratory facilities, or hospital
facilities for training in the case of medical colleges;
(7) Adequate accommodation for the college and the
attached hospital; and (8) The standard of
examinations held including the manner in which the
papers are set and examined and the clinical
performance is judged.”
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 83 of
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107. The above statement of law on Entry 66 of List-I vis-à-vis
Entry 25 of List-III throws much light on this issue. For instance, in
the case of the appellant, while it has got its own infrastructure
facilities for imparting education on various courses spelt out in
Ordinance 15, which has opened up centers in various places
falling within its jurisdiction viz. the State of Madhya Pradesh for
imparting education on the very same courses specified in
Ordinance 15. If we apply the principle spelt out in paragraph 36
of the above decision, where the standard for examining the
standard on education of an University, the various factors culled
out in the said paragraph can be held to be the factors to be
considered. In the same line of reasoning, it will have to be held
that the various centers created by the appellant University,
would also fall as one of the items along with the eight items spelt
out in the said paragraph.
108. In the light of the said reasoning also, it will have to be held
that the running of centers by the appellant University would fall
within the exclusive realm of Entry 66 of List – I, which would in
turn be governed by Section 12 of the University Grants
Commission Act and consequently the State Government to that
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 84 of
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extent should be held to lack the necessary legislative
competence to meddle with such centers set up by the appellant
University.
109. We therefore, hold that the entire proviso to Section 4(1)
has to be held to be ultra-vires.
The contention of the learned
counsel for the appellant therefore, merits acceptance and the
contention to the contrary made by the learned counsel for the
State stands rejected.
110. It is also necessary to note, as well as mention that after the
University was established for its initial establishment and for
running the institution, according to the appellant, more than
Rs.12 crores were spent by way of an investment and that nearly
Rs.60 crores have been spent for running the University and its
various centers throughout the State of Madhya Pradesh.
The
recurring expenditure was stated to be Rs.11 crores.
Therefore,
when the appellant University has proceeded to establish its
institution for the purpose of imparting education by making huge
investments, a major part of which would have definitely come by
way of fees collected from the students who had joined the
institution aspiring for improving their educational career, in our
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 85 of
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considered opinion, it is the responsibility of the State to ensure
that such high expectation of the students who joined the
appellant university is not impaired and that for whatever
expenses incurred by the students, appropriate returns should be
provided to them by way of imparting education in the respective
fields which, they choose to associate themselves by getting
themselves admitted in the appellant University.
Therefore, on
this ground as well, it will have to be held that such expectations
of the students, as well as their parents cannot be dealt with so
very lightly by the State, while considering for any change to be
brought about in the Constitution and functioning of the appellant
University.
 It can therefore be validly held that such expectations
of the students and their parents, as well as that of the appellant
University, can validly be held to be a legitimate expectation and
considering the challenge made to the amendment introduced on
various grounds raised at the instance of the appellant, the
legitimate expectation of the appellant University, as well as the
student community, would also equally support the contentions of
the appellant University, while challenging the amendments in
particular the amendment introduced to Section 4(1), as well as
the addition of a proviso to the said Section.
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 86 of
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111. One other relevant factor which is also to be kept in mind is
the establishment of the appellant University at the repeated
persuasion of Maharshi Mahesh Yogi was definitely to provide fullfledged education on Vedas and the various intricate subjects,
which are found in Vedas, as well as its practices, Ithihas, Puranas
etc. 
In fact, there can be no two opinion that such an institution
with such a laudable objective for imparting education in different
fields based on the teachings in Vedas, was very rare and it is said
that the appellant University is stated to be an unique University
created and established by the founders of the said institution
headed by Maharshi Mahesh Yogi. 
Therefore, when such a
premium University, which is stated to be only one of its kind in
the whole of the Country was successfully established based on
the 1995 Act, in our considered opinion, such a well established
institution should be allowed to survive by enabling the said
University to conduct courses as has been planned by it and
introduced under Ordinance 15 and thereby, make the appellant
University a viable one. 
Such an approach alone, in our
considered view, ensure the successful existence and continued
running of the University in the further years and thereby, benefit
very many aspirants from among the younger generation who
wish to learn more and more about very many subjects by
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 87 of
91
understanding such subjects based on the teachings that are
found and established in Vedic learnings, its practices, Ithihas and
Puranas etc.
Therefore, on this ground as well, in our considered
opinion, any attempt made from any quarters, which would
disrupt the running of the appellant University, will only amount to
interfering with its various Constitutional rights and fundamental
rights enshrined in the Constitution.
Therefore, when such
interference is brought to the notice of this Court, the Court has to
necessarily come to the rescue of the appellant University by
saving it from any such onslaught being made on its continued
existence.
We, therefore, find force in the submission of the
learned senior counsel for the appellant while attacking the
amended Section 4(1) and its proviso, by which the appellant
University was deprived of its valuable right to hold very many
programmes in the conduct of the course enumerated in its
Ordinance 15, which consequently resulted in violation of its
Constitutional, as well as Fundamental Rights in the running of its
educational institutions.
112. With this, we come to the last part of the submission made
on behalf of the appellant, which related to the amendment to
Section 9(2) of the 1995 Act. 
Under the un-amended provision,
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 88 of
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after the first Chancellor viz., Maharshi Mahesh Yogi, the Board of
Management was empowered to appoint the Chancellor from
among the persons of eminence and renowned scholar of Vedic
education who can hold office for a term of five years and who
would be eligible for reappointment. 
Under the amended Section
9(2), it was stipulated that after the first Chancellor, the Board of
Management should prepare and submit a panel of three persons
to the State Government and out of the panel, one person should
be appointed as Chancellor by the Board of Management, after
obtaining the approval of the State Government. 
As far as the
period of holding office was concerned, there was no change in its
terms. 
The Division Bench while considering the said amendment
introduced under Act 5 of 2000, has held that even after the
amendment, the Management had the power of recommendation
and they can recommend a person of eminence and renowned
scholar of Vedic education and even if the ultimate appointment
is to be made with the approval of the State Government, since
any such appointment can be only from the panel prepared by the
Board of management, such a stipulation contained in the
amendment does not in any way impinge upon any right, much
less the Constitutional Right or Fundamental Right of the
appellant University.
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 89 of
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113. Having bestowed our serious consideration to the above
conclusion of the Division Bench, we do not find anything wrong
with the said conclusion.
We also hold that the said provision
does not in any way offend Article 14 of the Constitution, nor does
it affect the autonomy of the appellant University.
 Apart from the
above challenges, no other submission relating to the other
amended provisions were seriously argued before us.
114. In the light of our above conclusion, this appeal is partly
allowed. 
We hold that the amended Section 4(1) under Act 5 of
2000 inclusive of the introduction of proviso to the said Section is
ultra-vires of the Constitution and the same is liable to be set
aside. 
In other respects, the judgment of the Division Bench
stands confirmed. The application for intervention considered, no
merits, the same is dismissed.
………….……….…………………………..J.
[Dr. B.S. Chauhan]
...……….…….………………………………J.
 [Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim
Kalifulla]
New Delhi;
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July 03, 2013
Civil Appeal No.6736 of 2004 91 of

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