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Santosh Singh v. Union of India and anr. - (Supreme Court) (22 Jul 2016)

Grouse against ‘decadence of civilisation’ outside purview of Article 32


A push for a more moral society and moral education for the country’s youth cannot be achieved through the courts for their inability to “unravel the complexities in the position”, the Supreme Court said.

The petitioner, an advocate practising in the Supreme Court, had raised grievance about the existing education system, which did not “produce a good human being”. Specifically, she expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of moral value inculcated in the prescribed CBSE curriculum; and called for the inclusion of moral science as a compulsory subject in the syllabus.

CBSE defended its curriculum for the emphasis on ‘co-scholastic’ areas in recent years. The Board released an updated teachers’ handbook in 2015, giving pedagogues broad guidelines on imparting moral education.

The court opined that the petitioner’s ails against materialism in society, though imbibing public good, were outside the court’s jurisdiction under Article 32 of the Constitution. Instead, it tendered a rather more tolerant tone, noting that preaching morality to the young itself prefaced risks of being one-sided.


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