Questioning the Quorum: A Fresh Look into the Doctrine of Stare Decisis by Uday Bedi

The Author: Uday Bedi is a Law Student Studying at Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat

Introduction

P.A. Inamdar & Ors. v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.[i] is famous for its stand on article 30(1) and its interpretation of T.M.A Pai Foundation v. State of Karnataka.[ii] It is one of the classic examples that shows how the doctrine of stare decisis works in India. A brief summary of the case is as follows:

Article 30(1) of the constitution was being interpreted in various cases in the Apex Court. An 11 judge bench was constituted to interpret the article as a lot of confusion had arisen after 4 decisions were passed on this matter. They were Unni Krishnan v. State of Andhra Pradesh,[iii] St. Stephen’s College v. University of Delhi,[iv] Ahmedabad St. Xavier’s College Society v. State of Gujarat[v] and In Re: Kerala Education Bill.[vi] The 11 judge bench in T.M.A Pai Foundation v. State of Karnataka,[vii] dealt with various issues such as whether education is an occupation under Article 19, whether minority institutions have authority to determine their own fee structure and criteria for admissions and also whether minority status was to be judged keeping a state as a unit or the entire nation. The judges in P.A. Inamdar case were merely deciding whether the decision given in the case of Islamic Academy of Education & Anr. v. State of Karnataka & Ors[viii] was in line with Pai Foundation case or not.

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