16 May 2023 12:24 PM GMT
Dismissing a PIL seeking introduction of legal studies compulsorily as an elective or optional subjects in all schools in the national capital, the Delhi High Court has said that framing a course is the sole domain of expert bodies and courts cannot take a decision in academic matters.“In the considered opinion of this Court, framing of a course is the sole domain of expert bodies and...
Dismissing a PIL seeking introduction of legal studies compulsorily as an elective or optional subjects in all schools in the national capital, the Delhi High Court has said that framing a course is the sole domain of expert bodies and courts cannot take a decision in academic matters.
“In the considered opinion of this Court, framing of a course is the sole domain of expert bodies and the Courts are neither equipped nor have the academic or technical background to substitute themselves in place of statutory professional technical bodies, and to take decisions in the academic matters involving the standards of quality of education,” a division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad said.
The PIL filed through Advocate Meghverna Sharma also sought direction on the Union of India, Delhi Government, CBSE and other authorities to create adequate number of regular posts of Law Graduate Teachers on permanent basis to impart legal studies in every school.
In a detailed order made available on Tuesday, the court said that courses have been designed by experts of the field and the new education policy of Government of India caters to the need of the country.
“This Court cannot substitute its views against the views of experts on the subject. So far as Legal Education/ Legal Studies is concerned, it is already an optional subject in school education and the CBSE is certainly conducting examination in respect of the optional subject of legal education/ legal studies,” the bench noted.
Furthermore, the court rejected the petitioner’s submission that legal studies should be included in the curriculum and should be imparted in every school.
Observing that the issue falls within the domain of the expert bodies, the bench said:
“The relevant educational authorities are appropriate authorities to deal with academic policy issues involving the list of subjects to be offered to students, their standards and quality of education to be imparted. Therefore, in the considered opinion of this Court, it is the sole domain of the experts to design a course and to prescribe subjects and curriculum in respect of school education. The CBSE is a competent authority to design a curriculum/ syllabus and fix number of teachers required to teach the subjects.”
While dismissing the plea, the court ordered that the petitioner shall be free to submit a representation to the CBSE, if so advised.
It was the petitioners’ case that the inaction on the part of the authorities in not including the legal studies subject in schools’ curriculum violates fundamental rights to equal opportunity of education.
The petition contended that Law subject is also a main subjects for judicial and other examinations such as Union Public Service Commission and State Service Commission Examination and not including it in curriculum is denial of “equal opportunity of education and employment avenues.”
“The impugned inactions on the part of respondents in not introducing law education in all the schools and recruiting law graduate teachers is badly affecting the future of the students, interest of social system as the idioms Ignorance of law is no excuse is not by choice of citizen but compulsive and by force as legal education is denied in schools by the respondents and it is not included in their priority,” the plea said.
Title: Virander Kumar Sharma Punj & Anr v. GNCTD & Ors.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Del) 379
Click Here To Read Order