The opinion of the Supreme Court in the case of Janet Jeyapaul presents a clear shift in jurisprudence surrounding the treatment of educational institutions.
Karan Trehan and Nishant Pande in their article “Application of Fundamental Rights against Educational Institutions in India: Moving beyond the State Action Doctrine” published in our Volume 4(4), advocate for alternatives to bring educational institutions within the ambit of fundamental rights. They start with the premise that reliance solely upon “State Action Doctrine” under Article 12, has largely rendered fundamental rights ineffective- when sought to be applied against educational institutions. To further their argument, the authors discuss the decision in Dr. Janet Jayapaul v. SRM University at length, where the Supreme Court of India had overruled hitherto jurisprudence on this matter and held a private university to be “State” under Article 12 of the Constitution of India.
This article argues that “State Action Doctrine” has rendered Fundamental Rights as State’s constitutional duty of protecting rights, instead of substantive Constitutional rights and makes a case for horizontal application of Right to Education under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.