State of Gujarat v. Shri Ambica Mills Ltd., (1974) 4 SCC 656 has laid down certain principles relating to under-inclusive and over-inclusive classification. This is, no doubt, apart from holding that a law which contravenes fundamental rights of the citizens may continue to be valid as regards non-citizens [See, Bennett Coleman v. Union of India, (1972) 2 SCC 788]. As regards classification and the vice of under-inclusive and over-inclusive classification, we may notice the following statement.
“In short, the problem of legislative classification is a perennial one, admitting of no doctrinaire definition.”
The following caveat by Justice Vivian Bose in State of West-Bengal v. Anwar Ali, AIR 1952 SC 75 is worth noticing.
“This, however, does not mean that Judges are to determine what is for the good of the people and substitute their individual and personal opinions for that of the Government of the day, or that they may usurp the functions of the Legislature.”
The seed of this idea had a muted growth. E.P. Royappa v. State of Tamil Nadu, (1974) 4 SCC 3 laid bare a new dimension in the majestic provisions of Article 14.
– Hon’ble Justice K.M. Joseph, Manish Kumar v. Union of India, [Writ Petition (Civil) No. 26 of 2020].
The haze between a minority and non-minority institution is no longer in existence [Sk. Md. Rafique v. Management Committee, Contai Rahamania High Madrasah, (2020) 6 SCC 68]. We would also like to point out, T.M.A. Pai Foundation v. State of Karnataka, (2002) 8 SCC 481.
Article 14 is positive in nature. Adequate leverage is to be provided to law-maker in making the classification. Article 14 does not prohibit discrimination. What is required is a valid discrimination against a hostile one. We quote Manish Kumar v. Union of India, (2021) 5 SCC 1.
– Hon’ble Justice M.M. Sundresh, State of Uttar Pradesh v. Principal, Abhay Nandan Inter College, [Civil Appeal No. 865 of 2021] decided on 27.09.2021.