Yoga is not a fundamental right, cannot be made compulsory in schools, says Supreme Court
The apex body also dismissed a public interest litigation that sought to frame a national yoga policy.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a public interest litigation seeking to make yoga compulsory in schools and said that it cannot decide what educational institutions must teach. It added that yoga is not a fundamental right under the law governing a child’s right to free and compulsory education, PTI reported.
The petition – filed by advocate J C Seth and Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson and lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay – sought to frame a national yoga policy and to make it compulsory for students of Classes 1 to 8.
The plea had said that the government has an obligation to provide health facilities to all, particularly children and adolescents. “In a welfare state, it is the obligation of the State to ensure the creation and sustenance of conditions congenial to good health,” it had said, adding that right to health cannot be secured without yoga education.
In an affidavit, the government had said that the Right to Education Act does not specifically mention yoga. “Yoga is an integral part of the curriculum of ‘Health and Physical Education’, which is a compulsory subject for Classes 1 to 10,” The Times of India quoted the affidavit.
The Centre also said that it was up to states and Union Territories to decide on including yoga in their curriculum.