GOVERNMENT AID to an institution is a matter of policy and it is not a fundamental right, Supreme Court ruled on Monday. It also stated that as regards aided institutions, there cannot be any difference between a minority and non-minority one.
A bench of Justices S K Kaul and M M Sundresh said grant of aid brings with it conditions which the institution receiving it is bound to comply with. If an institution does not want to accept the conditions, it can decline the grant but cannot say that the grant must be on its own terms, it said.
“A decision to grant aid is by way of policy. While doing so, the government is not only concerned with the interest of the institutions but the ability to undertake such an exercise,” it said.
It said there are factors which the government is expected to consider before taking such a decision. “Financial constraints and deficiencies are the factors which are considered relevant in taking any decision qua aid, including both the decision to grant aid and the manner of disbursement of an aid,” it said.
Once it has been held that “right to get an aid is not a fundamental right, the challenge to a decision made in implementing it, shall only be on restricted grounds”, said the bench. “Therefore, even in a case where a policy decision is made to withdraw the aid, an institution cannot question it as a matter of right.”
It, however, said that “maybe, such a challenge would still be available to an institution, when a grant is given to one institution as against the other institution which is similarly placed”.
The judgment came on an appeal filed by the Uttar Pradesh’ government challenging the 2018 Allahabad High Court verdict holding that Regulation 101 framed under The Intermediate Education Act, 1921 is unconstitutional. The apex court set aside the HC verdict.