Case Law: Mohini Jain Versus State of Karnataka


Miss Mohini Jain, a resident of Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, applied to enroll in the MBBS  course at Sri Siddhartha Medical College, a private medical college in Karnataka. The college asks her to deposit  Rs. 60,000 for tuition fees for the first year and a bank guarantee to cover the fees for the remaining years.  Her family did not have the means to pay the amount, and the private medical college denied her admission to the course.
she filed a petition with the Supreme Court of India against the Karnataka government under Article 32 of the constitution, challenging the notification permitting the private medical college to charge a higher tuition fee to students not admitted to government seats than those admitted to government seats.


The issue before the supreme court was as follows-

1.Whether a right to education is guaranteed under the Indian Constitution.
2. If so, whether allowing private schools to charge capitation fees violates this right.
3. Whether charging capitation fee in educational institutions violates Article 14 of the Indian
Constitution, which guarantees equal protection of the laws.


Supreme court held that though the right to education is not expressly mentioned as a fundamental right but  Article 38, 39(a), (f), 41 and 45  in Part IV of the Constitution of India together makes it clear that the framers of the constitution made it obligatory for the State to provide education for its citizens. Article 21 states  “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law”.  under Article 21 and the dignity of an individual cannot be assured unless it is accompanied by a right to education. in  addition, the Court found that it is clear that the framers of the Constitution made it obligatory for the State to provide education for its citizens.  the Court cited the Universal Declaration ofHuman Rights, and a number of cases that held that the right to life encompasses more than “life and limb” including necessities of life, nutrition, shelter, and literacy.  

Charging capitation fee limits the access to education only to the richer section of the people. Poorer persons with better merit can not get admission due to the inability to pay money and as a consequence, in educational institutions, a citizen’s “right to education” gets denied. Further, allowing the charging capitation fee violates Article 14 of the constitution of India. The only method of admission to medical colleges should be merit alone. 

The court made it clear that this judgment shall not be applicable to the no-resident of India. And all those who were admitted to private colleges before the judgment cannot take the benefit of the judgment.