30 July 1992
Supreme Court


Case number: W.P.(C) No.-000456-000456 / 1991
Diary number: 76041 / 1991
Advocates: R. SATHISH Vs M. K. DUA








CITATION:  1992 AIR 1858            1992 SCR  (3) 658  1992 SCC  (3) 666        JT 1992 (4)   292  1992 SCALE  (2)90

ACT:     Constitution  of India, 1950-Articles 41,  45-Right  to education-Whether  a  constitutional  right-capitation  fee- Whether unconstitutional.      Karnataka  Educational  Institutions  (Prohibition   of Capitation Fee) Act, 1984-preamble-Object of.      Karnataka  Educational  Institutions  (Prohibition   of Capitation  Fee)  Act,  1984-Sections  3,  5(1)-Notification under-M.B.B.S. Course-Admission-Tuition fee-Different  rates for  the  three categories  of  students-Legality  of-Excess Tuition   fee  other  than  Rs.  2,000   per   annum-Whether Capitation fee-Whether permissible in law-Held, Notification ultra vires.

HEADNOTE:      The  respondent  No.1  -  State  Government  issued   a notification  dated June 5, 1989 under section 5(1)  of  the Karnataka    Educational   Institutions   (Prohibition    of Capitation Fee) Act, 1984 fixing the tuition fee, other fees and deposits to be charged from the students by the  private Medical Colleges in the State. The tuition fee per year  for the  candidates  admitted against  "Government   seats"  was Rs.2,000,  whereas  for the Karnataka students  (other  than those  admitted against "Government seats") the  tution  fee was  not exceeding Rs.25,000 and for the students  belonging to the category of "Indian students from outside  Karnataka" were  to  pay the tuition fee not  exceeding  Rs.60,000  per annum.      The petitioner, who came under the category of  "Indian students  from  outside  Karnataka",  was  informed  by  the respondent No.3 - Private Medical College, that she could be admitted  to  the  MBBS Course  in  the  session  commencing February/march 1991, provided she would deposit Rs.60,000 as the  tuition  fee  for the first year  and  furnish  a  bank guarantee in respect of the fees for the remaining years  of the MBBS Course. When the father of the petitioner  informed the  respondent No. 3 that he could not pay  the  exorbitant annual  tution fee of Rs.60,000, the petitioner  was  denied admission.                                                        659      The   petitioner   has,  under  Article   32   of   the



Constitution  of  India, challenged the  notification  dated 5.6.1989  issued  by the respondent No.  1,  permitting  the Private  Medical Colleges to charge exorbitant  tution  fees from   the  students  other  than those  admitted   to   the "Government seats".      Respondent  No.3 contended that the students from  whom higher tuition fee was charged belong to a different  class; that those who were admitted to the "Government seats"  were meritorious   and   the  remaining   non-meritorious’   that classification of candidates into those who possessed  merit and   those   who  did  not  posses  merit   was   a   valid classification and as such the college-management was within its right to charge more fee from those who did not  possess merit;  that  the object sought to be achieved by  the  said classification  was  to collect money to meet  the  expenses incurred  by the college in providing medical  education  to the students.      The   intervener-Karnataka  Private  Medical   Colleges Association argued that the Private Medical Colleges in  the State  of Karnataka did not receive any financial  aid  from either the Central or the State Government; that the Private Medical  Colleges would incur about Rs. 5 lakhs per  student as expenditure for 5 year MBBS course; that 40% of the seats in  the colleges were set apart as "Government seats" to  be filled  by  the Government; that the students  selected  and admitted  against Government seats would pay only Rs.  2,000 per  annum as such the rest of the burden was on  those  who were admitted against management quota; that the tuition fee was  not  excessive  and as such there was  no  question  of making   any profit by the Private Medical Colleges  in  the State of Karnataka.      Respondent  No.3 and the intervener submitted  that  in order  to  run  the medical colleges  the  managements  were justified  in charging the capitation fee; that  apart  from the  Act, there was not provision under the Constitution  or under  any  other  law which would forbid  the  charging  of capitation fee.      On  the question: (1) Was there a ‘right to  education’ guaranteed to the people of India under the Constitution? If so, did the concept of ‘capitation fee’ infrasts the  same?; (2) Whether the charging of capitation fee in  consideration of  admissions  to educational institutions  was  arbitrary, unfair,  unjust  and  as such violated  Article  14  of  the Constitution?;   (3)  Whether  the   impugned   notification permitted the Private Medical Colleges to charge  capitation fee in the guise of regulating fees under the                                                        660 Act?  and (4) Whether the notification was violative of  the provisions  of the Act?, allowing the writ petition  to  the extent of striking down the capitation fee, this Court      HELD: 1.01. The dignity of man is inviolable. It is the duty  of  the State to respect and protect the same.  It  is primarily the education which brings-forth the dignity of  a man.  The framers of the Constitutions were aware that  more than  seventy per cent of the people, whom they were  giving the  Constitution of India, were illitrate. They  were  also hopeful  that within a period of ten years illiteracy  would be  wiped out from the country. It was with that  hope  that Articles  41  and  45  were brought  in  Chapter IV  of  the constitution.  An  individual  cannot be  assured  of  human dignity unless his personality is developed and the only way to do that is to educate him. [667F]      1.02.  Article  41 in Chapter IV  of  the  Constitution recognises  an  individual’s right "to education".  It  says that  "the  State shall, within the limits of  its  economic



capacity and  development, make effective provision for  the securing  the right....to education...." Although a  citizen cannot enforce the directive principles contained in Chapter IV  of  the Constitution but these were not intended  to  be mere pious declarations. [667H]      1.03.   Without  making  "right  to  education"   under Article  41  of the Constitution a reality  the  fundamental rights  under Chapter III shall remain beyond the  reach  of large majority which is illiterate. [668E]      1.04.    The  "right  to  education",   therefore,   is concomitant  to the fundamental rights enshrined under  Part III of the Constitution. The State is under a constitutional mandate  to provide educational institutions at  all  levels for   the   benefit  of  the   citizens.   The   educational institutions  must  function to the best  advantage  of  the citizens.   Opportunity  to  acquire  education  cannot   be confined to the richer section of the society. [670A]      1.05.   Every citizen has a ‘right to education’  under the  Constitution.  The  State is  under  an  obligation  to establish educational institutions to enable the citizens to enjoy the said right. The State may discharge its obligation through   state-owned   or   state-recognised    educational institutions.  When the State Government grants  recognition to the private educational institutions it creates an agency to  fulfil  its  obligation  under  the  Constitution.   The students are given admission to the educational institutions - whether state-owned or state-recognised in recognition  of their                                                        661 ‘right’  to   education’ under  the  Constitution.  Charging capitation fee in consideration of admission to  educational institutions,  is  a patent denial of a citizen’s  right  to education under the Constitution. [672C-E]      1.06.   Capitation  fee  is nothing  but  a  price  for selling  education.  The  concept  of  "teaching  shops"  is contrary   to  the  constitutional  scheme  and  is   wholly abhorrent to the Indian culture and heritage. [670C]      1.07.   "Right to life" is the  compendious  expression for  all those rights which the Court 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 education. The State  Government is  under  an  obligation  to  make  endeavour  to   provide educational  facilities at all levels to its citizens.  [669 F-G]      1.08.    Capitation  fee  makes  the  availability   of education beyond the reach of the poor. The State action  in permitting capitation fee to be charged by  State-recognised educational  institutions  is wholly arbitrary and  as  such violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India [672G]      1.09    The capitation fee brings to the fore  a  clear class bias. It enable the rich to take admission whereas the poor  has  to withdraw due to financial  inability.  A  poor student  with better merit cannot get admission  because  he has  no money whereas the rich can purchase  the  admission. Such  a  treatment  is  patently  unreasonably,  unfair  and unjust.  There is, therefore, no escape from the  conclusion that   charging  of  capitation  fee  in  consideration   of admissions  to educational institutions is wholly  arbitrary and as such infracts Article 14 of the Constitution. [673 F- G]      Francis  Coralie  Mullin v.  The  Administrator,  Union



Territory  of Delhi, [1981] 2 SCR 516; Bandhua Mukti  Morcha v. Union of India and Ors., [1984] 2 SCR 67; E.P. Royappa v. State  of  Tamil  Nadu and Anr., [1974] 2  SCR  348;  Maneka Gandhi  v. Union of India, [1978] 2 SCR 621; Ramana  Dayaram Shetty  v. The International Airport Authority of India  and Ors.,  [1979]  3 SCR 1014; Ajay Hasia etc. v.  Khalid  Mujib Sehravardi  and Ors. etc., [1981] 2 SCR 79 and  Dr.  Pradeep Jain  etc.  v. Union of India Ors. etc., [1984] 3  SCR  942, referred to.                                                        662      D.P.  Joshi v. The State of Madhya Bharat and  another, [1955] SCR 1215, distinguished.      Dr. Ambedkar - C.A.D. Vol. VIII P.476; IMA  Resolutions of  India Medical Conference held at Cuttak on December  28- 30, 1980; Presidential Address of Dr. K.S. Chugh,  Chairman, Department  of  Medicine and Head Department  of  Nephrology Pastgraduate  Institute  of Medical Education  and  Reseach, Chandigarh  delivered  on  17.1.1992  at  the  47th   Annual Conference  of the Association of Physicians in India,  held at Patna, referred to.      2.      The    Karnataka    Educational    Institutions (prohibition  of Capitation Fee) Act, 1984 has been  brought into  existence by the Karnataka State Legislature with  the object of effectively curbing the evil practice of collecing capitation  fee for admitting students into the  educational institutions in the State of Karnataka. The preamble to  the Act which makes the object clear. [679F]      3.01.      The  State  Government  in  fulfilling   its obligation   under  the  Constitution  to  provide   medical education  to the citizens has fixed Rs.2,000 per  annum  as tuition fee for the students selected on merit for admission to the medical colleges and also against "Government  seats" in private medical colleges. Therefore, the tuition fee by a student  admitted  to the private medical  college  is  only Rs.2,000  per  annum. The seats other than  the  "Government seats"  which  are to be filled from outside  Karnataka  the management  has been given free hand where the  criteria  of merit  is  not applicable and those who can  afford  to  pay Rs.60,000 per annum are considered at the discretion of  the management. [680 F-H]      3.02.      If the State Government fixes  Rs.2,000  per annum  as  the tuition fee in government  colleges  and  for "Government  seats" in private medical colleges then  it  is the  State-responsibility  to see that any  private  college which  has  been set up with Government  permission  and  is being  run  with Government recognition is  prohibited  from charging  more  than Rs.2,000 from any student  who  may  be resident  of  any part of India. When the  State  Government permits   a  private  medical  college  to  be  set-up   and recognises its curriculum and degrees, then the said college is  performing a function which under the  Constitution  has been assigned to the State Government. [681A]      3.03.       Capitation  fee  in  any  form  cannot   be sustained  in the eyes of law. The only method of  admission to the medical colleges in consonance                                                        663 with  fair  play and equity is by ways of  merit  and  merit alone. Charging of capitation fee by the private educational institutions  as  a consideration for  admission  is  wholly illegal and cannot be permitted. [674 B-C]      3.04.      Rs.60,000 per annum permitted to be  charged from Indian students from outside Karnataka in Para 1(d)  of the notification is not tuition fee but in fact a capitation fee  and  as such cannot be sustained and is  liable  to  be struck down. [681C]



    3.05.      What is provided is paras 1 (d) and 1(c)  of the  impugned notification dated June 5, 1989 is  capitation fee  and  not  a tuition fee. It has to  be  held  that  the notification  is  beyond the scope of the  Act  rather  goes contrary  to Section 3 of the Act and as such has to be  set aside.  It  is not permissible in law  for  any  educational institution to charge capitation fee as a consideration  for admission to the said institution. [681E]

JUDGMENT:      ORIGINAL  JURISDICTION : Writ petition (Civil) No.  456 of 1991.      (Under Article 32 of the Constitution on India).      Vijay Pandia  and R. Satish for the Petitioner.      Santosh  Hegde,  R. Jagannatha Gouley, M.K.  Dua,  K.H. Nobin Singh, Manoj Sarup, C.S. Vaidyanathan, K.V. Mohan, Ms. Anita Lalit and M. Veerappa for the Respondents.      The Judgment of the Court was delivered by      KULDIP SINGH. J. The Karnataka State Legislature,  with the  object  of  eliminating  the  practice  of   collecting capitation  fee  for  admitting  students  into  educational institutions, enacted the Karnataka Educational Institutions (Prohibition of Capitation Fee) Act, 1984 (the Act). The Act which replaces the Karnatatak Ordinance No. 14 of 1983  came into  force  with effect from July 11, 1983.  Purporting  to regulate  the  tuition  fee to be  charged  by  the  Private Medical  Colleges  in the State,  the  Karnataka  Government issued a notification dated June 5, 1989 under Section  5(1) of  the Act thereby fixing the tuition fee, other  fees  and deposits  to  be charged from the students  by  the  Private Medical  Colleges in the State. Under the  notification  the candidates  admitted against "Government seats" are  to  pay Rs.2,000  per  year as tuition fee. The  Karnataka  students (other  than those admitted against "Government seats")  are to be charged tuition fee not                                                        664 exceeding  Rs.25,000  per annum. The third  category  is  of "Indian students from outside Karnataka", from whom  tuition fee  not  exceeding Rs.60,000 per annum is permitted  to  be charged.      Miss  Mohini Jain a resident of Meerut was informed  by the   management  of  Sri  Sriddharatha   Medical   College, Agalokote,  Tumkur in the State of Karnataka that she  could be  admitted  to the MBBS course in the  session  commencing February/March  1991.  According to the management  she  was asked to deposit Rs.60,000 as the tuition fee for the  first year and furnish a bank guarantee in respect of the fee  for the  remaining  years of the MBBS course.  The  petitioner’s father informed the management that it was beyond his  means to  pay  the  exorbitant annual fee of Rs.60,000  and  as  a consequence she was denied admission to the medical college. Mohini  Jain  has  alleged that the  management  demanded  a further  capitation fee of repees four and a half lakhs  but the management  has vehemently denied the same.      In  this petition under Article 32 of the  Constitution of India Miss Mohini Jain has challenged the notification of the  Karnataka  Government permitting  the  Private  Medical Colleges  in  the State of Karnataka  to  charge  exorbitant tuition fees from the students other than those admitted  to the "Government seats".      Mr.  Santosh  Hedge learned counsel appearing  for  the medical  college  respondent No. 3 has  contended  that  the students from whom higher tuition fee is charged belong to a



different class. According to him those who are admitted  to the  "Government  seats" are meritorious and  the  remaining non-meritorious. He states that classification of condidates into  those who possess merit and those who do  not  possess merit  is a valid classification and as such   the  college- management is within its right to charge more fee from those who do not possess merit. He further states that the  object sought  to  be  achieved by the said  classification  is  to collect  money to meet the expenses incurred by the  college in  providing  medical education to the students.  Mr.  C.S. Vaidyanathan,  learned counsel appearing for the  intervener Karnataka  Private Medical Colleges Association  has  argued that the Private Medical Colleges in the State of  Karnataka do not receive any financial aid from either the Central  or the  State Government. According to him the Private  Medical Colleges  incur about Rs.5 lakhs per student as  expenditure for a 5 year MBBS course. 40% of the seats in these                                                        665 colleges are set part as "Government seats" to be filled  by the  Government. The students selected and admitted  against Government seats pay only Rs.2,000 perannum as such the rest of  the  burden  falls on those  who  are  admitted  against management quota. He, therefore, contended that the  tuition fee  is  not excessive and as such there is no  question  of making  any  profit by the Private Medical Colleges  in  the State  of  Karnataka. Mr. Hegde and  Mr.  Vaidyanathan  have vehemently  contended  that  in order  to  run  the  medical colleges  the  managements  are justified  in  charging  the capitation fee. According to them, apart from the act, there is  no provision under the Constitution or under  any  other law  which forbids the charging of capitation  fee.  Finaliy they   have relied upon the judgment of this Court  in  D.P. Joshi v. The State of Madhya Bharat, and another [1955]  SCR 1215.      After hearing learned counsel for the parties and  also perusing  the  written  arguments  submitted  by  them   the following  points arise  for our consideration in this  writ petition:      (1)  Is there a ‘right to education’ guaranteed to  the people  of  India under the Constitution? If  so,  does  the concept of ‘capitation fee’ infracts the same?      (2)  Whether  the  charging  of  capitation   fee   in consideration  of admissions to educational institutions  is arbitrary, unfair, unjust and as such violates the  equality clause contained in Article 14 of the Constitution?      (3)  Whether  the impugned  notification  permits  the Private  Medical  Colleges to charge capitation fee  in  the guise of regulating fees under the Act?      (4)   Whether  the  notification is  violative  of  the provisions  of the Act which in specific terms prohibit  the charging of capitation fee by any educational institution in the State of Karnataka?      In  order to appreciate the first point posed by us  it is   necessary  to  refer  to  various  provisions  of   the Constitution  of India. The preamble promises to  secure  to all  citizens  of  India  "Justice,  social,  economic   and political"  "liberty of thought, expression,  belief,  faith and worship". It further provides "equality of status and of opportunity" and assures dignity of the individual. Articles 21,  38,  39(a)  (f),  41 and 45  of  the  Constitution  are reproduced hereunder:                                                        666          "21. Protection of life and  personal  liberty.-No          person  shall be deprived of his life  or  personal          liberty  except according to procedure  established



        by law."          "38.  State  to  secure  a  social  order  for  the          promotion  of walfare of the people.-(1) The  State          shall  strive to promote the Welfare of the  people          by securing and protecting as effectively as it may          a  social order in which justice, social,  economic          and political, shall inform all the institutions of          the national life.          (2)  The  State  shall, in  particular,  strive  to          minimise the inequalities in income, and  endeavour          to eliminate inequalities in status, facilities and          opportunities,  not  only amongst  individuals  but          also amongst groups of people residing in different          areas or engaged in different vocations."          "39. Certain principles of policy to be followed by          the  state.-The State shall, in particular,  direct          its policy towards securing-          (a) that the citizens, men and women equally,  have          the right to an adquate means to livelihood;          (f)  that  children  are  given  opportunities  and          facilities  to develop in a hearlthy manner and  in          conditions   of  freedom  and  dignity   and   that          childhood   and   youth   are   protected   against          exploitation   and  against  moral   and   material          abandonment."          "41.  Right  to work, to education  and  to  public          assistance  in  certain cases.-  The  State  shall,          within  the  limits of its  economic  capacity  and          development, make effective provision for  securing          the  right  to  work, to education  and  to  public          assistance  in  cases  of  unemployment,  old  age,          sickness  and  disablement, and in other  cases  of          underserved want."          "45.  Provision for free and  compulsory  education          for   children.-  The  State  shall  endeavour   to          provide,  within  a period to ten  years  from  the          commencement  of  this Constitution, for  free  and          compulsory  education for all children  until  they          complete the age of fourteen years."                                                        667      It is no doubt correct that "right to education"as such has not been guaranteed as fundamental right under Part  III of the Constitution but reading the above quoted  provisions comulatively  it  becomes  clear that  the  framers  of  the Constitution  made  it obligatory for the State  to  provide education for its citizens.      The  preamble  promises  to  secure  justice   "social, economic and political" for the citizen. A peculiar  feature of  the Indian Constitution is that it combines  social  and economic  rights along with political and justiciable  legal rights.  The preamble embodies the goal which the State  has to achieve in order to establish social justice and to  make the  masses  free  in the positive sense.  The  securing  of social  justice has been specifically enjoined an object  of the  State  under Article 38 of the  Constitution.  Can  the objectice  which has been so prominently pronounced  in  the preamble  and  Article 38 of the  Constitution  be  achieved without  providing  education  to  the  large  majority   of citizens who are illiterate. The objectives flowing from the preamble cannot be achieved and shall remain on paper unless the  people in this country are educated. The three  pronged justice promised by the preamble is only an illusion to  the teaming-million  who  are  illiterate. It  is  only  is  the education which equips a citizen to participate in achieving the  objectives  enshrined  in the  preamble.  The  preamble



further   assures  the  dignity  of  the   individual.   The Constitution  seeks to achieve this object  by  guaranteeing fundamental  rights to each individual which he can  enforce through court of law if necessary. The directive  principles in  Part  IV  of the Constitution are  also  with  the  same objective. The dignity of man is inviolable. It is the  duty of  the  State  to  respect and  protect  the  same.  It  is primarilty the education which brings-forth the dignity of a man.  The framers of the Constitution were aware  that  more than  seventy  per cent of the people, to  whom  they   were giving the Constitution of India, were illiterate. They were also  hopeful that within a period of ten  years  illiteracy would  be wiped out from the country. It was with that  hope that  Articles 41 and 45 were brought in Chapter IV  of  the Constitution.  An  individual  cannot be  assured  of  human dignity unless his personality is developed and the only way to  do  that is to educate him. This is  why  the  Universal Declaration  of  Human Rights,  1948  emphasises  "Education shall  be  directed  to the full development  of  the  human personality..." Article 41 in Chapter IV of the Constitution recognises  an  individual’s right "to education".  It  says that  "the  State shall, within the limits of  its  economic capacity  and  development,  make  effective  provision  for securing the right.....to                                                        668 education". Although a citizen cannot enforce the  directive principles  contained in Chapter IV of the Constitution  but these  were not intended to be mere pious  declarations.  We may quote the words of Dr. Ambedkar in that respect:          "In  enacting  this Part of the  Constitution,  the          Assembly is giving certain directions to the future          legislature  and  the future executive to  show  in          what  manner they are to exercise  the  legislature          and the executive power  they will have. Surely  it          is  not  the intention to introduce  in  this  Part          these principles as mere pious declarations. It  is          the  intention of the Assembly that in future  both          the legislature and the executive should not merely          pay  lipservice to these principles but  that  they          should  be made the basis  of all  legislative  and          executive action that they may be taking  hereafter          in the matter of the governance of the country"          (C.A.D. Vol.VII p.476.)      The  directive principles which are fundamental in  the governance  of  the  country cannot  be  isolated  from  the fundamental   rights  guaranteed  under  Part   III.   These principles have to be read into the fundamental rights. Both are  supplementary  to  each other. The  State  is  under  a constitutional  mandate  to create conditions in  which  the fundamental rights guaranteed to the individuals under  Part III  could  be  enjoyed by all.  Without  making  "right  to education"  under Article 41 of the Constitution  a  reality the fundamental rights under Chapter III shall remain beyond the reach of large majority which is illiterate.      This   Court   has  interpreted  Article  21   of   the Constitution  of  India to include the right  to  live  with human  dignity and all that goes along with it.  In  Francis Coralie  Mullin  v. The Administrator,  Union  Territory  of Delhi,  [1981]2  SCR 516, this Court elaborating  the  right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of the India held as under:          "But the question which arises is whether the right          to  life is limited only to protection of  limb  or          faculty or does it go further and embrace something          more. We think that the right to life includes  the



        right to live with human dignity and all that  goes          along with it, namely the bare necessaries of life          such  as adequate nutrition, clothing  and  shelter          and facilities for reading, writing and  expression          oneself in diverse forms, freely                                                        669          moving about and mixing and commingling with fellow          human beings. Of course, the magnitude and  content          of  the components of this right would depend  upon          the  extent  of  the economic  development  of  the          country,  but it must, in any view of  the  matter,          include the right to the basic necessities of  life          and  also the right to carry on such  funtions  and          activities   as   constitute   the   bare   minimum          expression of the human-self."      In Bandhua Mukti Morcha v. Union of India Ors.,  [1984] 2 SCR 67, this Court held as under"-          "This right to live with human dignity enshrined in          Article  21  derives  its  life  breath  from   the          Directive   principles   of   State   Policy    and          particularly clauses (e) and (f) of Article 39  and          Articles 41 and 42 and at the least, therefore,  it          must include protection of the health and  strength          of workers men and women, and of the tender age  of          children    against   abuse,   opportunities    and          facilities  for  children to develop in  a  healthy          manner  and in conditions of freedom  and  dignity,          educational facilities, just and humane  conditions          of work and maternity relief. These are the minimum          requirements which must exist in order to enable  a          person  to live with human dignity and no  State  -          neither  the  Central  Government  nor  any   State          Government - has the right to take any action which          will  deprive  a person of the enjoyment  of  these          basic essential."      "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 fiows 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 education. The State Government  is under an obligation   to  make  endeavour  to   provide   educational facilities at all levels to its citizens.      The fundamental rights guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution  of  India including the right  to  freedom  of speech  and  expression and other rights  under  Article  19 cannot be appreciated and fully enjoyed unless a citizen  is educated and is conscious of his individualistic dignity.                                                        670      The "right to education", therefore, is concomitant  to the  fundamental  rights  enshrined under Part  III  of  the Constitution. The State is under a constitutional-mandate to provide  educational  institutions  at all  levels  for  the benefit  of the citizens. The educational institutions  must function to the best advantage of the  citizens. Opportunity to  acquire  education  cannot be  confined  to  the  richer section  of  the  society.  increasing  demand  for  medical education has led to the opening of large number of  medical colleges  by  private persons, groups and  trusts  with  the permission   and  recognition  of  State  Governments.   The Karnataka  State  has permitted the opening of  several  new medical   colleges   under  various   private   bodies   and organisations.  These institutions are  charging  capitation



fee  as  a consideration for admission.  Capitation  fee  is nothing  but a price for selling education. The  concept  of "teaching  shops" is contrary to the  constitutional  scheme and is wholly abhorrent to the Indian culture and  heritage. As  back as December 1980 the Indian Medical Association  in its  56th  All India Medical Conference held at  Cuttack  on December 28-30, 1980 passed the following resolutions:          "The  56th All India Medical Conference views  with          great  concern  the attitude  of  State  Goverments          particularly  the State Government of Karnataka  in          permitting  the  opening of  new  Medical  Colleges          under  various  bodies and organisations  in  utter          disregard   to  the   recommendations  of   Medical          Council of India and urges upon the authorities and          the  Government  of  Karnataka not  to  permit  the          opening  of  any new medical  college,  by  private          bodies.          It further condemns the policy of admission on  the          basis of capitation fees. This commercialisation of          medical   education  endangers  the   lowering   of          standards  of medical education and encourages  bad          practice."      Dr.  K.S. Chugh, Chairman, Department of  Medicine  and Head  Department  of Nephrology  Postgraduate  Institute  of Medical Education and Research Chandigarh, recipient of  Dr. B.C.  Rai National Award as ‘eminent medical man for  1991’, in his Presidential Address delivered on January 17, 1992 at the  4th Annual Conference of the Association of  Physicians in India held at Patna observed as under:          "In  the  recent past, there has  been  a  mushroom          growth of                                                        671          medical  colleges in  our country. At the  time  of          independence  we  had  25  medicaal  college  which          turned out less than 2000 graduates every year.  At          the  present  time,  there  are  172  )150  already          functioning  and 22 are being established)  medical          colleges  with an annual turn over of  over  20,000          graduates. The Mudaliar Commission had  recommended          a  doctor-population  ratio of 1 :  3500.  We  have          already  achieved a ratio of 1 : 2500. If  we  take          into account the practitioners of other systems  of          medicine  who  enjoy  pay  scales  and   privileges          comparable  to those of allopathic  doctors,  India          will  soon  have a doctor-population ratio of  1  :          500.  Such  over production of  tehnical  man-power          from  our  medical  colleges is bound  to  lead  to          unemployment  and frustration. Indeed the  unabated          exodus  of  our  professional  collegues  to  other          countries  is  a direct consequence of  these  lop-          sided policies.          According  to  some estimates. India  has  exported          human capital worth over 51 billion dollars to  USA          alone during 1966-88. Currently about 8000  skilled          young  men and women are leaving the country  every          year.  It is high time a blanket ban is imposed  on          any  further expansion of medical colleges  in  our          country  and a well thought out plan to reduce  the          intake into existing institutions is prepared. This          will  help  to  improve  the  standard  of  medical          education and health care in our country.          It  is  common  knowlege that  many  of  the  newly          started  medical  colleges charge  huge  capitation          fees.  Besides, most of these are  poorly  equipped          and  provide  scanty facilities  for   training  of



        students.  At best such institutions can be  termed          as  "Teaching  Shops". Experience  has  shown  that          these colleges admit students who have been  unable          to  gain admission in recognised medical  colleges.          The  result  is  a back  door  entry  into  medical          training  obtained  solely by the  ability  to  pay          one’s  way through. Even the advice of the  Medical          Council  of India is sidelined in many such  cases.          The  Government must resist all pressures to  allow          this  practice  to continue. Admission  to  medical          colleges  bought by paying capitation fees must  be          stepped    forthwith   and   all   such    existing          institutions  required  to strictly adhere  to  the          Medical Council of India rules.                                                        672          In the words of my predecessor Dr. V. Parameshvara,          "The  need of the hour is better doctors than  more          doctors,   better   health  education   than   more          education, better health care than more health care          delivery."      The  indian  Medical Association,  the  Association  of Physicians   of   India  and  various   other   bodies   and organisations  representing the medical profession  in  this country have unanimously condemned the practice of  charging capitation  fee  as  a consideration for  admission  to  the medical college.      We  hold that every citizen has a ‘right to  education’ under the Constitution. The State is under an obligation  to established educational institutions to enable the  citizens to  enjoy  the  said  right. The  State  may  discharge  its obligation    through   state-owned   or    state-recognised educational  institutions. When the State Government  grants recognition  to  the  private  educational  institutions  it creates  an  agency  to  fulfil  its  obligation  under  the Constitution.  The  students  are  givin  admission  to  the educational   institutions-whether  state-owned  or   state- recongnised-in  recognition  of their ‘right  to  education’ under   the   Constitution.  Charging  capitation   fee   in consideration of admission to educational institutions, is a patent  denial of a citizen’s right to education  under  the Constitution.      Indian  civilsation recognises education as one of  the pious  obligations  of the human society. To  establish  and administer   educational   institutions  is   considered   a religious  and  charitable object. Education  in  India  has never  been a commodity for sale. Looking at  the  economic- front,  even forty five years after achieving  independence, thirty per cent of the population is living below  proverty- line and the bulk of the remaining population is  struggling for   existence  under  poverty-conditions.   The   preamble promises  and the directive principles are a mandate to  the state to eradicate poverty so that the poor of this  country can   enjoy   the  right  to  life  guaranteed   under   the Constitution. The state action or inaction which defeats the constitutional-mandate  is  per se arbitary  and  cannot  be sustained.   Capitation  fee  makes  the   availability   of education beyond the reach of the poor. The state action  in permitting capitation fee to be charged by  state-recognised educational  institutions  is wholly arbitrary and  as  such violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. During the last two decades the horizon of equality clause has been widened as a result of this Court’s judgments.                                                        673 Earlier the violation of Article 14 was judged on the twin t ests of classification and nexus. This Court in E.P. Royappa



v.  State of Tamil Nadu and Anr., [1974] 2 SCR 348 gave  new dimension to Article 14 in the following words:          "Equality  is a dynamic concept with  many  aspects          and  dimensions and it cannot be "cribbed,  cabined          and  confined" within traditional  and  doctrinaire          limits. From a positivistic point of view, equality          is  antithetic to arbitrariness. In  fact  equality          and   arbitrariness are sworn enemies; one  belongs          to  the rule of law in a republic while the  other,          to  the  whim and caprice of an  absolute  monarch.          Where an act is arbitrary it is implicit in it that          it is unequal both according to political logic and          constitutional  law and is therefore  violative  of          Article 14."      This Court in Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India [1978]  2 SCR  621 Ramana Dayaram Shetty v. The International  Airport Authority  of  India and Ors., [1979] 3 SCr  1014  and  Ajay Hasia etc. v. Khalid Mujib Sehravardi and Ors. etc.,  [1981] 2  SCR 79 following E.P. Royappa authoritatiovely held  that equality is directly opposed to arbitrariness. In Ajay Hasis this Court observed as under :          "Unfortunately,   in  the  early  stages   of   the          evolution  of  our constitutional law,  Article  14          came   to  be  identified  with  the  doctrine   of          classification... In Royappa v. State of Tamil Nadu          this Court laid bare a new dimension of Article  14          and  pointed  out  that  that  Article  has  highly          activist  magnitude  and it  embodies  a  guarantee          against arbitrariness....."      The  capitation  fee brings to the fore a  clear  class bias. It enable the rich to take admission whereas the  poor has  to withdraw dur to financial inability. A poor  student with  better  merit canoot get admission because he  has  no money  whereas the rich can purchase the admission.  Such  a treatment is patently unreasonable, unfair and unjust. There is,  therefore, no escape from the conclusion that  charging of   capitation  fee  in  consideration  of  admissions   to educational  institutions  is wholly arbitrary and  as  such infracts Article 14 of the Constitution.      We do not agree with Mr. Hegde that the management  has a  right  to admit non-meritorious  candidates  by  charging capitation fee as a con-                                                        674 sideration.  This practice strikes at the very root  of  the constitutional   scheme   and   our   educational    system. Restricting   admission   to   non-meritorious    candidates belonging  to the richer section of society and denying  the same  to  poor meritorious is wholly arbitrary  against  the constitutional   scheme  and  as  such  cannot  be   legally permitted. Capitation fee in any form cannot be sustained in the eyes of law. The only method of admission to the medical colleges  in consonance with the fair play and equity is  by ways of merit and merit alone.      We,  therefore,  hold  and  declare  that  charging  of capitation fee by the private educational institutions as  a consideration for admission is wholly illegal and cannot  be permitted.      Mr.  Santosh Hegde and Mr.Vaidyanathan learned  counsel for  respondent 3 and the interverner have relied upon  D.P. Joshi  v. The State of Madhya Bharat and Anr.,  (supra)  for the  proposition  that  classification  of  candidates   for admission  to medical colleges on the basis of residence  is permissible.  In D.P. Joshi’s case a resident of  Delhi  was admitted  as  a student of Mahatma  Gandhi  Memorial  Medial Cellege Indore which was run by the State of Madhya  Bharat.



His  complaint  was  that the rules in  force  in  the  said institution  discriminated  in the matter  of  fees  between students who were  residents of Madhya Bharat and those  who were not,  and that the latter had to pay in addition to the tuition fee and charges payable by all the students a sum of Rs.1500 per annum as capitation fee and that the charging of such a fee from the students coming out of Madhya Bharat was in   contravention   of  Articles  14  and  15(1)   of   the Constitution  of India. In D.P. Joshi’s case the only  point for   decision   before   this   Court   was   whether   the classification  on  the ground of residence  was  justified. This  court  while  dealing with the  question  observed  as under:          "The  impugned  rule divides,  as  already  stated,          self-nominees  into two groups, those who are  bona          fide  resident of Madhya Bharat and those  who  are          not,  and while it imposes a capitation fee on  the          latter,  it  exempts the former  from  the  payment          thereof. If thus proceeds on a classification based          on  residence within the State, and the only  point          for    decision   is   whether   the   ground    of          classification has a fair and substantial  relation          to the purpose of the law, or whether it is  purely          arbitrary and                                                        675          fanmciful.           The  object of the classification  underlying  the          impugned  rule was clearly to help to  some  extent          students who are residents of Madhya Bharat in  the          prosecution  of  their studies, and  it  cannot  be          disputed that it is quite a legitimate and laudable          objective for a State to encourage education within          its borders.  Education is a State subject, and one          of  the directive principles declared in Part IV of          the  Constitution  is that the  State  should  make          effective  provisions  for  education  within   the          limits  of  its economy.  (vide article  41).   The          State  has  to contribute for the  upkeep  and  the          running of its educational institutions.  We are in          this petition concerned with a Medical College, and          it  is  well-known that  it  requires  considerable          finance  to maintain such an institution.   If  the          State has to spend money on it, is it  unreasonable          that it should so order the educational system that          the  advantage of it would to some extent at  least          enure  for the benefit of the State?  A  concession          given  to the residents of the State in the  matter          of fees is obviously calculated to serve that  end,          as  presumably some of  them might,  after  passing          out  of  the College, settle  down as  doctors  and          serve    the   needs   of   the   locality.     The          classification is thus based on a ground which  has          a reasonable relation to the subject-matter of  the          legislation,  and  is in consequence  not  open  to          attack.  It has been held in the State of Punjab v.          Ajaib  Singh and Anr., that a classification  might          validly  be made on a geographical basis.   Such  a          classification   would   be  eminently   just   and          reasonable, where it relates to education which  is          the    concern   primarily  of  the   State.    The          contention,  therefore,  that  the  rule   imposing          capitation  fee is in contravention of  article  14          must be rejected."      D.P.  Joshi’s case is an authority for the  proposition that  classification  on  the  ground  of  residence  is   a



justifiable  classification under Articles 14 and  15(1)  of the Constitution of India.  The question that capitation fee as  a consideration for admission is not  permissible  under the  scheme  of  the constitution, was  neither  raised  nor adverted to by this Court.  The imposition of capitation fee was also not questioned on the ground of arbitrariness.  The only question raised before the Court was that the Madhya                                                        676 Bharat  students could not be exempted from the  payment  of capitation   fee.   It  is  settled  by  this   Court   that classification  on  the  ground  of  residence  is  a  valid classification.  Subsequently this Court in Dr. Pradeep Jain etc.  v.  Union  of India and Ors. etc., [1984]  3  SCR  942 reiterated  the  legal  position on  this  point.   we  are, therefore, of the view that D.P. Joshi’s case does not  give us ary guidance on the points before us.      To appreciate the third point it is necessary to notice the  relevant  provisions of the Act and  the  notification. Section 2(b), (e), 3, 4, and 5 of the Act are as under:          "2(b).  "Capitation  fee"  means  any  amount,   by          whatever name called, paid or collected directly or          indirectly  in excess of the fee  prescribed  under          section  5,  but  does  not  include  the   deposit          specified under the proviso to section 3.          (e)  "Government Seats" means such number of  seats          in such educational institution or class or classes          of such institutions in the state as the Government          may, from time to time, specify for being filled up          by  it in such manner as may be specified by it  by          general or special order on the basis of merit  and          reservation for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes,          Backward Classes and such other categories, as  may          be specified, by the Government from time to  time,          without  the requirement of payment  of  capitation          fee or cash deposit.          3.  Collection  of  capitation  fee  prohibited.  -          Notwithstanding  anything contained in any law  for          the time being in force, no capitation fee shall be          collected  by  or  on  behalf  of  any  educational          institution or by any person who is incharge of  or          is   reponsible   for  the   management   of   such          institution:          Provided..............          4.   Regulation   of   Admission   to   educational          institutions  etc.  -  Subject to  such  rules,  or          general  or special orders, as may be made  by  the          Government in this behalf and any other law for the          time being in force.          (1) (a) the minimum qualification for admission  to          any  course of study in an educational  institution          shall be such as                                                        677          may be specified by -          (i) the University, in the case of any course study          in  an  educational institution  maintained  by  or          affiliated to such University:          Provided  that the Government may, in the  interest          of excellence of education, fix any higher  minimum          qualification for any course of study.          (ii) the Government in the case of other courses of          study in any other educational institution;          (b)  the  maximum under of students that  could  be          admitted  to  a course of study in  an  educational          institution  shall be such as may be fixed  by  the          Government from time to time;



        (2)in order to regulate the capitation fee  charged          or collected during the period specified under  the          proviso to section 3, the Government may, from time          to  time, by general or special order,  specify  in          respect of each private educational institution  or          class or classes of such institutions.          (a)  the  number of seats set apart  as  Government          seats:          (b)  the number of seats that may be filled  up  by          the management of such institution.          (i)  from among Karnataka students on the basis  of          merit, on payment of such cash deposits  refundable          after  such  number  of  years,  with  or   without          interest  as may be specified therein, but  without          the payment of capitation fee; or          (ii) at the discretion:          Provided  that  such  number of  seats  as  may  be          specified by the Government but not less tha  fifty          per  cent of the total number of seats referred  to          in  clauses (a) and (b) shall be filled from  among          Karnataka students.          Explanation.  -  For the purpose  of  this  section          Karnataka  students means persons who have  studied          in  such educational institutions in the  State  of          Karnataka run or recognised by the                                                   678          Government  and  for such number of  years  as  the          Government may specify;          (3)  an  educational institution required  to  fill          seats in accordance with item (i) of sub-clause (b)          of  clause  (2) shall form a  committee  to  select          candidates  for such seats.  A nominee each of  the          Government   and  the  University  to  which   such          educational  institution  is  affiliated  shall  be          included as members in such committee.          5.  Regulation  of  fees, etc. - (1)  It  shall  be          competent  for the Government, by notification,  to          regulate  the  tuition  fee or  any  other  fee  or          deposit  or  other amount that may be  received  or          collected  by any educational institution or  class          of such institutions in respect of any or all class          or classes of students.          (2)  No educational institution shall  collect  any          fees or amount or accept deposits in excess of  the          amounts notified under sub-section (1) or permitted          under the proviso to section 3.          (3)  Every educational institution shall  issue  an          official  receipt for the fee or capitation fee  or          deposits or other amount collected by it.          (4)   All  monies  received  by   any   educational          institution  by  way of fee or  capitation  fee  or          deposits or other amount shall be deposited in  the          account  of the institution, in any Scheduled  Bank          and   shall  be  applied  and  expended   for   the          improvement of the institution and the  development          of  the educational facilities and for  such  other          related   purpose  and to such extent and  in  such          manner  as  may  be  specified  by  order  by   the          Government.          (5)  In  order to carry out the  purposes  of  sub-          section   (4),  the  Government  may  require   any          educational institution to submit their programs or          plans   of  improvement  and  development  of   the          institution for the approval of the Government.      The  relevant  part of the notification dated  June  5,



1989  issued by the Karnataka Government under Section 5  of the Act is reproduced hereunder:                                                        679          "In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section          (1)  of  Section  5 of  the  Karnataka  educational          Institutions  (Prohibition of Capitation Fee)  Act,          1984,  the Government of Karnataka hereby  fix  the          Tuition Fee and other fees and deposits that may be          collected  by the private Medical Colleges  in  the          State  with effect from the academic  year  1989-90          and until further orders as follows:          (a)  Candidates  admitted to  seats  in  Government          Medical       Colleges shall be charged  a  tuition          fee  of  Rs.2,000      each per annum  (Rupees  two          thousand only);          (b)    Candidates admitted against Government seats               in          Private Medical Colleges shall  be               charged  a tuition      fee of  Rs.2,000  each               per  annum  (Rupees two  thousand       only).               For  this  purpose  "Government  seats"  shall               mean Government seats as defined by section  2               (e)        of   the   Karnataka    Educational               Institutions       (Prohibition of  Capitation               Fee) Act, 1984;          (c)  Karnataka   Students  (other   than   students               admitted       against Government seats as  at               (b)  above) admitted      by  Private  Medical               Colleges shall be charged     tuition fee  not               exceeding    Rs.25,000    each    per    annum               (Rupees Twenty-five thousand only);          (d)  Indian   Students   from   outside   Karnataka               admitted  by       Private  Medical   Colleges               shall   be   charged  tuition        fee   not               exceeding  Rs. 60,000 each per  annum  (Rupees               Sixty thousand only);      The  Act  has  been  brought  into  existence  by   the Karnataka  State Legislature with the object of  effectively curbing  the evil practice of collecting capitation fee  for admitting students into the educational institutions in  the State of Karnataka.  The preamble to the Act which makes the object clear is reproduced thereunder          "An  Act to prohibit the collection  of  capitation          fee  for admission to educational  institutions  in          the   State  of  Karnataka  and  matters   relating          thereto;              Where the practice of collecting capitation fee          for admit-                                                        680          ting  students  into  educational  institutions  is          widespread in the State;              And  whereas this undesirable  practice  beside          contributing  to large scale  commercialisation  of          education has not been conducive to the maintenance          of educational standards;              And  whereas  it  is  considered  necessary  to          effectively  curb  this  evil  practice  in  public          interest by providing for prohibition of collection          of capitation fee and matters relating thereto;             Be it enacted by the Karnataka State Legislature          in the Thirty-fourth Year of the Republic of  India          as follows:"      Section  3  of  the Act  prohibits  the  collection  of capitation  fee  by any educational institution  or  by  any person  who    is in charge of or  is  responsible  for  the management  of  such  institutions.   Contravention  of  the



provisions of the Act has been made punishable under Section 7 of the Act with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less  than three years but shall not exceed seven years  and with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees.  Section 5  of  the  Act authorises the Government  to  regulate  the tuition  fees  by  way  of  a  notification.  The  Karnataka Government have issued a notification under Section 5(1)  of the  Act wherein the fee charged from Indian  students  from outside  Karnataka has been fixed not exceeding  Rs.  60,000 per annum.  Whether Rs. 60,000 per annum can be considered a tuition  fee or it is a capitation fee is the  question  for our determination.      The notification fixes Rs.2000 per annum as the tuition fee  for  candidates  admitted to the  seats  in  Government medical  colleges  and for the candidates  admitted  against "Government  seats" in private medical colleges.  All  these seats are filled purely on the merit of the candidates.   It is thus obvious that the State Government in fulfilling  its obligation   under  the  Constitution  to  provide   medical education  to the citizens has fixed Rs. 2000 per  annum  as tuition fee for the students selected on merit for admission to the medical colleges and also against "Government  seats" in private medical colleges.  Therefore, the tuition fee  by student admitted to the private medical college is only  Rs. 2000 per annum.  The seats other than the "Government seats" which are to be filled from outside Karnataka the management has been given free hand where the criteria of merit is  not applicable  and those who can afford to pay Rs.  60,000  per annum are                                                        681 considered  at the discretion of the  management.   Whatever name one may give to this type of extraction of money in the name  of medical education it is nothing but the  capitation fee.  If the State Government fixes Rs.2000 per annum as the tuition  fee  in  government colleges  and  for  "Government seats"  in  private medical colleges than it is  the  state- responsibility  to  see that any private college  which  has been set up with Government permission and is being run with Government recognition is prohibited from charging more than Rs. 2000 from any student who may be resident of any part of India.  When the State Government permits a private  medical college  to  be  set-up and recognises  its  curriculum  and degrees than the said college is performing a function which under  the  constitution  has been  assigned  to  the  State Government.  We are therefore of the view that Rs.60,000 per annum  permitted  to be charged from  Indian  students  from outside  Karnataka in Para. 1(d) of the notification is  not tuition fee but in fact a capitation fee and as such  cannot be  sustained and is liable to be struck down.  Whatever  we have said about para 1(d) is also applicable to Para 1(c) of the notification.      Since we have held that  what is provided in para  1(d) and 1(c) of the impugned notification dated June 5, 1989  is capitation fee and not a tuition fee it has to be held  that the notification is beyond the scope of the Act rather  goes contrary  to section 3 of the Act and as such has to be  set aside.   We  therefore  hold  and declare  that  it  is  not permissible in law for any educational institution to charge capitation fee as a consideration for admission to the  said institution.      For the reasons given above we allow this writ petition and  quashed  para  1(d) and 1(c)  of  the  Karnataka  State Government   notification   dated  June  5,  1989.    As   a consequence   paragraph   5   of   the   said   notification automatically  becomes  redundant.  We make  it  clear  that



nothing  contained in this judgment shall be  applicable  to the  case  of  foreign students and students  who  are  non- resident Indians.  We further hold that this judgment  shall be  operative  prospectively.  All those students  who  have already been admitted to the private medical colleges in the State   of  Karnataka  in  terms  of  the  Karnataka   State Notification dated June 5, 1989 shall not be entitled to the advantage  of  this judgment and they shall  continue  their studies on the same terms and conditions on which they  were admitted to the consolidated MBBS course.                                                        682      Although  we  have struck down the capitation  fee  and allowed  the  writ  petition  to that  extent,  we  are  not inclined  to  grant any relief regarding  admission  to  the petitioner.   She was not admitted to the college  on  merit and  secondly the course commenced in March-April, 1991  and we  see no justification to direct respondent 3 the  medical college  to  admit  the petitioner.  The  writ  petition  is allowed in the above terms with no order as to costs. V.P.R.                                     Petition allowed.                                                        683