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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Friday, 03 December 2021 9.13 PM IST

Getting aid not a fundamental right, says SC

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NEW DELHI: Getting aid is not a fundamental right, the Supreme Court observed on Monday and said the government should take into account various factors such as financial constraints and deficiencies while deciding on aid for educational institutions.
Also, when it comes to aided institutions, there cannot be any difference between a minority and non-minority one, the apex court said.

“Right to get an aid is not a fundamental right, the challenge to a decision made in implementing it, shall only be on restricted grounds," said a bench of Justices S K Kaul and M M Sundresh.

“Therefore, even in a case where a policy decision is made to withdraw the aid, an institution cannot question it as a matter of right. Maybe, such a challenge would still be available to an institution, when a grant is given to one institution as against the other institution which is similarly placed,” the bench said.

The top court said if an institution does not want to accept and comply with the conditions accompanying such aid, it is well open to it to decline the grant and move on its own way.

“On the contrary, an institution can never be allowed to say that the grant of aid should be on its own terms,” the bench said.

The apex court's observations came while allowing Uttar Pradesh's appeal challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict holding that Regulation 101 framed under The Intermediate Education Act, 1921 is unconstitutional.

The top court said that once it is held that right to get an aid is not a fundamental right, the challenge to a decision made in implementing it, shall only be on restricted grounds.

“Therefore, even in a case where a policy decision is made to withdraw the aid, an institution cannot question it as a matter of right. Maybe, such a challenge would still be available to an institution, when a grant is given to one institution as against the other institution which is similarly placed.

“Therefore, with the grant of an aid, the conditions come. If an institution does not want to accept and comply with the conditions accompanying such aid, it is well open to it to decline the grant and move in its own way,” the bench said.

The bench said that a policy decision is presumed to be in public interest, and such a decision once made is not amenable to challenge, until and unless there is manifest or extreme arbitrariness, a Constitutional court is expected to keep its hands off.

“An executive power is residue of a legislative one, therefore the exercise of said power i.e., the amendment of the impugned regulation, cannot be challenged on the basis of mere presumption,” the bench said.

Once a rule is introduced by way of a policy decision, a demonstration on the existence of manifest, excessive and extreme arbitrariness is needed, the apex court said.

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