Should age limit eligibility be removed for education on basis of right to education?

Tilak Marg Forum for Legal Questions Forums Constitutional Law Should age limit eligibility be removed for education on basis of right to education?

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Dr. Ashok Dhamija Dr. Ashok Dhamija 7 months ago.

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  • #4237

    Right to education is our fundamental right. But colleges put up age limit to persue it. Why is age so relevant for a person willing to learn? Can we take up this issue to the Supreme court?

  • #4244

    In the case of Mohini Jain (Miss) v. State of Karnataka, (1992) 3 SCC 666 : AIR 1992 SC 1858, for the first time, a 2-judge bench of the Supreme Court held that right to education is a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution.

    However, subsequently, in the case of Unni Krishnan, J.P. v. State of A.P., (1993) 1 SCC 645 : AIR 1993 SC 2178, a 5-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, while agreeing with the basic premise that “the right to education  flows directly from right to life” [under Article 21], curtailed this right somewhat by observing that  the right to education, understood in the context of Articles 45 and 41, means: (a) every child/citizen of this country has a right to free education until he completes the age of fourteen years and (b) after a child/citizen completes 14 years, his right to education is circumscribed by the limits of the economic capacity of the State and its development.

    Subsequently, the Constitution was amended by the Constitution (86th Amendment) Act, 2002, which inserted Article 21-A in the Constitution (however, this provision came into force much later, with effect from 1st April 2010):

    21-A. Right to education.—The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine.”

    So, basically, the right to education now recognized under Article 21-A is for all children of the age of 6 to 14 years.

    However, your question is slightly different. Your object is not to get free education, through the right to education, but to ensure that there is no age restriction while admitting students in colleges.

    Personally, I agree with you that the right to education should extend to ensure that no person is deprived of getting education due to age restrictions. [However, the right to carry on a profession or join some employment at a later age on the basis of such education acquired at a late age, would be a slightly different issue, though I feel that this should also be permissible wherever possible, subject to reasonable restrictions permissible under Article 19 on this issue.]

    I think it should be possible for you to take up this issue in the Supreme Court, on the basis of some case in which admission has been denied due to age restrictions, or on the basis of discriminatory rules imposing age restrictions. But, the case should be on the basis of some real discrimination, and not as an academic issue.


    Dr. Ashok Dhamija is a New Delhi based Supreme Court Advocate and author of law books. Read more about him by clicking here. List of his Forum Replies. List of his other articles. List of his Quora Answers.

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