Reply To: 52 nd REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER FOR LINGUISTIC MINORITIES IN INDIA

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In Rev. Sidhajbhai Sabhai and Ors. v. State of Bombay and Anr., (1963) 3 SCR 837, the Court again considered the matter and observed that educational institutions cater to the needs of the citizens or section thereof. Regulation made in the real interests of efficiency of instruction, discipline, health, sanitation, morality, public order, and the like may undoubtedly be imposed. Such regulations are not restrictive on the substance of the right, which is guaranteed, they secure the proper functioning of the institution in the matter of education. It was also observed that regulation must satisfy a dual test ­ the test of reasonableness and that it is regulative of the educational character of the institution and is conducive to making the institution a capable vehicle of education for the minority community or other persons who resort to it. In Rev. Father W. Proost and Ors. v. State of Bihar and Ors., AIR 1969 SC 465, the Court observed thus:

“8. In our opinion, the width of Article 30(1) cannot be cut down by introducing in it considerations on which Article 29(1) is based. The latter article is a general protection which is given to minorities to conserve their language, script, or culture. The former is a special right to minorities to establish educational institutions of their choice. This choice is not limited to institution seeking to conserve language, script, or culture, and the choice is not taken away if the minority community having established an educational institution of its choice also admits members of other communities. That is a circumstance irrelevant for the application of Article 30(1) since no such limitation is expressed and none can be implied. The two articles create two separate rights, although it is possible that they may meet in a given case.”
22. In Ahmedabad St. Xavier’s College Society and Anr. v. State of Gujarat and Anr., (1974) 1 SCC 717, a college was run by the minority.

A Bench of 9­Judges of this Court considered the question whether Sections 40 and 41 of the Gujarat University Act, 1949 violated Section 30, which provided all colleges within the University area would be governed by the statutes of the University which may provide for minimum educational qualifications for teachers and tutorial staff.

The University may approve the appointments of teachers to coordinate and regulate the facilities provided and expenditure incurred. The Court opined that regulation which serves the interests of the teachers are of paramount importance in good administration, education should be a great cohesive force in developing integrity of the nation, thus:

“19. The entire controversy centres round the extent of the right of the religious and linguistic minorities to administer their educational institutions. The right to administer is said to consist of four principal matters. First is the right to choose its managing or governing body. It is said that the founders of the minority institution have faith and confidence in their own committee or body consisting of persons elected by them. Second is the right to choose its teachers. It is said that minority institutions want teachers to have compatibility with the ideals, aims, and aspirations of the institution. Third is the right not to be compelled to refuse admission to students. In other words, the minority institutions want to have the right to admit students of their choice subject to reasonable regulations about academic qualifications. Fourth is the right to use its properties and assets for the benefit of its own institution.
20. The right conferred on the religious and linguistic minorities to administer educational institutions of their choice is not an absolute right. This right is not free from regulation. Just as regulatory measures are necessary for maintaining the educational character and content of minority institutions, similarly, regulatory measures are necessary for ensuring orderly, efficient, and sound administration. Das, C.J., in the Kerala Education Bill case (supra) 1959 SCR 995: AIR 1958 SC 956, summed up in one sentence the true meaning of the right to administer by saying that the right to administer is not the right to mal­administer.

  1. Educational institutions are temples of learning. The virtues of human intelligence are mastered and harmonised by education. Where there is complete harmony between the teacher and the taught, where the teacher imparts and the student receives, where there is complete dedication of the teacher and the taught in learning, where there is discipline between the teacher and the taught, where both are worshippers of learning, no discord or challenge will arise. An educational institution runs smoothly when the teacher and the taught are engaged in the common ideal of pursuit of knowledge. It is, therefore, manifest that the appointment of teachers is an important part in educational institutions. The qualifications and the character of the teachers are really important. The minority institutions have the right to administer institutions. This right implies the obligation and duty of the minority institutions to render the very best to the students. In the right of administration, checks, and balances in the shape of regulatory measures are required to ensure the appointment of good teachers and their conditions of service. The right to administer is to be tempered with regulatory measures to facilitate smooth administration. The best administration will reveal no trace or colour of minority. A minority institution should shine in exemplary eclectism in the administration of the institution. The best compliment that can be paid to a minority institution is that it does not rest on or proclaim its minority character.