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Kerala High Court

Kerala: HC stresses constitutional right to education for all

November 25, 2023

Acknowledging that the Constitution safeguards the right to education for every student, regardless of their background, the Kerala High Court emphasized that educational authorities should give priority to protecting this right rather than endorsing non-educational activities. The court expressed this viewpoint in an interim order that prohibits state educational authorities from directing school students to attend the Nava Kerala Sadas, led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his cabinet.

Justice Devan Ramachandran, in the order, cautioned Head Masters/Principals of schools against exposing their students to activities outside the educational curriculum on the instructions of any official respondents in the case. “I order so because the right to education is a constitutionally protected right, which guarantees every student and child this right, regardless of their class, creed, or status. It is the duty of Educational Authorities to safeguard this right, rather than encouraging them to engage in activities that lack an educational purpose,” emphasized the court.

During the hearing, the government assured the court that no child would be coerced or encouraged to participate in any event in any district in Kerala. In his order, Justice Ramachandran noted that while the court could have closed the writ petition based on the submissions of the learned additional advocate general, it must ensure that authorities do not abuse their powers in the future.

The petition challenging the directive for student participation was filed by PK Nawas, the leader of the Muslim Students Federation (MSF), contesting the order of educational deputy directors from various districts that sought the involvement of students in the Nava Kerala Sadas.

Source: PTI

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