Case Summary: D. P. Joshi vs. The State of Madhya Bharat and ors.

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👉 D.P. Joshi Vs. The State of Madhya Bharat and ors. (1955 AIR 334, 1955 SCR (1)1215) ( 27 Jan. 1955)

👉Court – Supreme Court of India

👉Subject – Constitution (Article 14 , to 15)

👉 Bench – 5 Judges – (Mukherjee, Bijan Kr. (CJ), Bose, Vivian, Jagannadhadas, B., Aiyyar, T.L. Venkatarama, Sinha, Bhuvneshwar P. )

📜It was in this case that the question of domicile based classification and its validity came before the Supreme Court for the first time.📜

👉 Facts

1. The case was filed against a medical college at Indore known as the M.G. Medical College run by the State of Madhya Pradesh The petitioner, a resident of Delhi was took admission in July 1952, and at the time of the petition, was studying in the third-year, M. B. B. S. Course. His complaint was that the institution discriminate in the matter of fees between students who are residents of Madhya Pradesh and those who are not, and that the latter have to pay in addition to the tuition fees and charges payable by all the students a sum of Rs. 1,500 per annum as capitation fee.

2. The petitioner accordingly prays that the court must prohibit the respondent from collecting from him capitation fee for the current year, and directing a refund of Rs. 3,000 collected from him as capitation fee for the first two years.

3. The rule which is at the root of the present controversy is that “Madhya Bharat students are exempted from capitation fees”.

4. After the State took over the management, it introduced certain modifications in the rules, in place of the rule that “Madhya Bharat students are exempted from capitation fees” a new rule was substituted, which runs as follows: “For all students who are ‘bona fide residents’ of Madhya Bharat no capitation fee should be charged.

👉Issue

The issue before the court, as brought forth by the contention of the petitioner was that domicile based classification was in contravention of article 14 and 15(1) of the Constitution.

👉Judgement

A. The argument of the petitioner that the rule offends article 15 of the Constitution does not hold ground because there exists significant difference between resident of a place and place of birth. The ground for exemption from payment of capitation fee as laid down therein is bona fide residence in the State of Madhya Bharat.

B. Citizenship and domicile are two different conceptions. Citizenship has reference to the political status of a person, and domicile to his civil rights.

C. The court further held that the rule was also not violative of Article 14 because the classification was just and reasonable because it was based on a ground which was a primary duty of state i.e. to encourage education within its geographical boundaries

D. The terms under which the State took over expressly reserve only the agreement for reserving seats for the nominees of participating States and donors, and do not contain any undertaking to maintain the rule relating to imposition of capitation fee. Whether if such an undertaking had been given it could have been set up in answer to a fundamental right, does not therefore arise for decision.

E. Thus by majority the writ was dismissed and it was held by majority that the rule of the Madhya Bharat government was not in contravention with the constitutional norms.

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