Issue of incorporating ‘Moral Science’ as a compulsory subject in schools a policy matter and hence, cannot be resolved by Courts

Supreme Court

Supreme Court: In the PIL filed by the petitioner appearing for herself where it was contended that the present education system does not inculcate the true purpose of education, which is to produce a good human being as the course curriculum prescribed by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the National Policy on Education does not recognise a sufficient status for “moral education”, the bench of T.S. Thakur, CJ and Dr D Y Chandrachud, J dismissed the petitioned and said that every good that is perceived to be in the interest of society cannot be mandated by the court and the resolution of such matters must rest with those who have the responsibility to teach and govern over matters of education.

The petitioner sought for including ‘moral science’ as a compulsory subject in the syllabus of school education from classes I to XII in order to inculcate moral values and nurture national character in the national interest. Stating that while there can be no dispute about the need of providing value based education, what form this should take and the manner in which values should be inculcated ought not to be ordained by the court, it was held that the court singularly lacks the expertise to do so. Matters of policy are entrusted to the executive arm of the State as the court is concerned with the preservation of the rule of law.

Taking note of the tendency on the part of public interest petitioners to assume that every good thing which society should aspire to achieve can be achieved through the instrumentality of the court, it was said that the judicial process provides remedies for constitutional or legal infractions. However, the court must necessarily abide the parameters which govern a nuanced exercise of judicial power. Hence, where an effort is made to bring issues of governance before the court, the basic touch stone on which the invocation of jurisdiction must rest is whether the issue can be addressed within the framework of law or the Constitution. [Santosh Singh v. Union of India, 2016 SCC OnLine SC 731, decided on 22.07.2016]

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