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Constitutional Rights for Students in India

Constitutional Rights for Students in India

The most potent and crucial resource for a country's development is its students. A country's future is created by students. Students, as vital as they are, are occasionally exploited and denied their rights. Every student, especially college students, should be aware of their legal rights. Although there is no unique right or provision dedicated only to students in India, there are four crucial rules in the Indian constitution that every student should be aware of.

We can understand the rights of students in India as follows, based on fundamental legal rights:

Right to Free Speech and Expression (Article 19 (1)(a))
As we all know, freedom of speech refers to the ability to express oneself through speech, writing, photographs, or any other methods. In India, a student has the same freedom as a student in the United States. Of course, as stated in Article 19(2) of the Indian Constitution, there are limitations. As a student, you have the freedom to express yourself without fear, but it doesn't mean you may use freedom of speech and expression to malign others. Private organization have the authority to fire employees for whatever reason they see fit. When Shreya Singhal filed a petition against the Union of India in 2015, the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression was stressed.

The Supreme Court, in a petition submitted by a law student, emphasized the importance of freedom of speech and expression, both from the standpoint of individual liberty and the democratic form of our democracy. The Supreme Court ruled that in a democratic constitution that allows for changes in the composition of legislatures and governments, freedom of speech and expression are essential and must be protected.

Article 21 of India's constitution guarantees the right to life:
While striking down a regulation for disciplinary action under the Delhi School Education Rules, 1973, a division bench of the Delhi High Court ruled that children should not be exposed to corporal punishment in schools and should receive education in an environment of freedom and dignity, devoid of fear.

Why is it significant for Indian students?

In the case of Parents Forum for Meaningful Education & Anr against Union of India & Anr, the right was invoked. The Parents Forum has filed a petition to stop pupils from being punished in schools.

Following that, the court issued a ruling with instructions to educational institutions on how to deal with children who do not complete their assignments, but no corporal punishment should be used:
  • Detain pupils during their lunch break if they do not do their homework
  • No punishment or detention after school hours if they do not complete their homework
  • Fines can be imposed solely on students over the age of 14 in cases of late attendance, being absent from school without permission, skipping/bunking lessons, causing damage to school property, or any delay in payment of school fees and dues.
  • Only if a student is unpleasant or unpleasant to teachers, creates physical violence at school, or engages in any other major misconduct toward peers, could he or she be subjected to corporal punishment (not harsh).
  • No corporal punishment for unwell students
  • If a student is expelled from one school, he should not be denied entry to another school.
  • No student should be expelled or rusticated without first receiving a �show-cause' notice from his or her parents or guardians.

Right to Life (under Article 21):

Nobody, including the government, has the authority to take your life, according to the right to life (Article 21). The government is required by this law to take adequate measures to safeguard life by enacting laws to protect you. The right to life also requires the government to take reasonable measures to safeguard you if your life is in danger. When making decisions that may put you in risk or influence your life expectancy, public authorities should also consider your right to life. If a member of your family dies in state-related circumstances, you may be entitled to an investigation.

Under the Students rights the Indian Contract Act and Criminal Law includes:

Indian Contract Act:
Under the Indian Contract Act, 1872, a student who has reached the age of majority, i.e., 18 years, can engage into a contract. For example, a student must enter into a contractual arrangement with a sanctioning bank or a leasing agreement with the owner of a residential property while taking out an educational loan.

Criminal law:

According to the Indian Penal Code, children under the age of seven are exempted from criminal liability, whereas children from seven to twelve are held responsible for their actions based on their maturity. Unless they are discovered committing a major offense as defined in the Act, students under the age of 18 are safeguarded from being punished as adult criminals by the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. Government employees must follow specific principles set forth in Section 3 of the Act when dealing with students who have broken the law, such as the presumption of innocence, equality and non-discrimination, and natural justice, among others.

Right to Constitutional Remedy

This is a very special right that all citizens retain. A citizen has the right to bring a matter to court if any of his or her fundamental rights are violated. The court serves as a deterrent to anyone who violates these rights.

This right allows a person to go to court to seek justice against the government's acts if the government forces or knowingly acts wrong to them, or if a person is imprisoned for no reason or through an unlawful conduct.

Fundamental rights play a very significant role in the life of any citizen. These rights can defend during the time of complexity & difficulty and help us grow into a good human being and that�s why all the rights are the needs of people.

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