CASE: Sanja y Bhaskarrao Kale v. The Union of India & ors.
CORAM: Hon’ble Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Hon’ble Justice Ravindra V. Ghuge
Last week, the Bombay High Court (Aurangabad Bench) dismissed a petition seeking directions from the respondents (UOI and others) to spread awareness among the masses of the contents of the Constitution of India, the Right to Information Act and the Consumer Protection Act.
The petition filed by one Sanjay Bhaskarrao Kale and was heard by Chief Justice DipankarDatta and Justice Ravindra V. Ghuge., who sought the inclusion of the above-mentioned laws as compulsory subjects of high-level education, i.e. Undergraduate and Post-Graduate courses.
Interestingly, in its order, the bench quoted the foreword (penned by former Chief Justice Y. V. Chandrachud) to the book ‘Democracy, Equality and Freedom’ by Justice K. K. Mathew (edited by Dr. Upendra Baxi)
The Court observed that his Lordship declared that “in our present dispensation, a Judge cannot, except for honourable exceptions, lay plausible claim of legal scholarship.”
Furthermore, The Bench said,
“We certainly are not exceptions and, therefore, would never dream of claiming legal or any other scholarship. Why we say so is because of the nature of concern expressed in this PIL petition.”
The Court emphasised that Judges have to primarily don the hat of an adjudicator and having regard to the manifold activities in relation to the administrative work, Judges also don other hats.
Importantly, the Court has noted,
“An attempt is made by the petitioner by presenting this Public Interest Litigation to make us don the hat of an academician too and interference in academic matters, a field of activity where we 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 we were to entertain the prayers in this PIL petition.”
Finally, the Court said that the case had to be left to the discretion of the experts in the field of education and that the petitioner was given leave to seek his remedy before those authorities.