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Allahabad High Court: The state lacks the authority to establish a board for religious education

Last Updated on March 23, 2024 by News Desk


The recent ruling on the Uttar Pradesh Board of Madrasa Education Act, 2004 by the Allahabad High Court raises important concerns over the State’s ability to create educational boards that are exclusively based on religious connection, which goes against secularism’s tenets.


The Madrasa Education Act was ruled illegal by the High Court, which held that the State did not have the authority to establish educational boards that catered only to one faith. Judges Vivek Chaudhary and Subhash Vidyarthi stressed that such acts are against Article 14’s secularism and equality provisions. Articles 21 and 21A, which protect the right to education and equality before the law, were also cited by the Court as being violated.


The ruling emphasizes how the State must protect secularism and guarantee that all religions be treated equally. This idea is violated when a separate board is established for a particular faith, depriving pupils of equal access to contemporary education. Furthermore, given that Uttar Pradesh already has secular educational boards, the Court questioned the need for a religiously divided school board.

Reasoning of Judgment:

The Court’s ruling is based on the requirement that all people have equal access to education and the secular ethos of the Constitution. It concluded that the provisions of the Madarsa Act were inconsistent with these fundamental values, especially with regard to the willful giving of authority comparable to that of the University Grants Commission.


In addition to declaring the Madarsa Act unlawful, the ruling emphasizes the State’s obligation to uphold secularism and offer equitable access to education. It establishes an important precedent for maintaining India’s secular framework in the field of education by highlighting the supremacy of constitutional values over religious factors in the formulation of educational policies.

Case title: Anshuman Singh Rathore & Ors v Union & Ors

Written by: Nikita Shankar @nikitaashankar

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