Judges interfering in academic matters or stepping into other Organs of State would amount to Judicial Over-Reach: Bombay High Court

A decision that stepping into the other domains of State Organs would result in Judicial Over-Reach was pronounced by the Bombay High Court through the Division Bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Ravindra V. Ghuge in the case of  Sanjay Bhaskararo Kale v. Union of India (PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION NO.116 OF 2016)


A social activist filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) requesting that the respondents include the provisions of the Constitution of India, 1950, the Right to Information Act, 2005, and the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 as mandatory subjects of education at the higher level of studies. Taking notice of the foregoing, the Bench noted that the foreword to Justice K.K. Mathew’s ‘Democracy, Equality, and Freedom’ was written by former Chief Justice Y.Y. Chandrachud, in which it was stated that “We certainly are not exceptions and, therefore, would never dream of claiming legal or any other scholarship.”

Furthermore, in expressing its view in the immediate case about administrative tasks, the Bench added: “Having regard to the manifold activities in relation to administrative work that we perforce are bound to discharge, we also don other hats.”


The Bench held that an attempt is made by the petitioner by presenting the Public Interest Litigation to make the judges don the hat of an academician too and interfere in academic matters, a field of activity where the Bench have little or no expertise. There could be a judicial over-reach and stepping into the domain of the other organs of the State if the Bench were to entertain the prayers in the petition. Therefore, it was stated that the matter must be left to the discretion of the experts in the educational field. The petitioner was granted leave to pursue his remedy before such authorities. Thus, the Public Interest Litigation was disposed of.


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