The Supreme Court on Monday observed that people cannot be forced to do yoga and that the question of fundamental right would arise only if somebody is prevented from doing it.
“Who is preventing you (petitioner) from doing yoga? You can claim violation of your fundamental right only if somebody prevents you from doing it…you cannot force people to do yoga,” said Chief Justice of India T S Thakur.
The remark by the CJI-led bench came as advocate J C Seth mentioned the matter before Justice Thakur for an early hearing of his petition that seeks positive directions from the apex court for introducing yoga as a compulsory subject in schools.
Seth informed the bench that all the state governments and their education boards, in addition to the CBSE and the ICSE, have now been made parties to his plea. He urged the CJI to let the matter be heard at an earliest possible date, pointing out the issue pertains to health and all round development of the children.
The CJI said the matter will retain its position and will be heard on January 12. However, Justice Thakur also asked Seth: “Do you do yoga every day? Does somebody stop you? How can people be forced to do it?” Seth responded he would satisfy the court when the matter is heard next.
Seth, relying upon the RTE Act and National Curriculum Framework 2005, has sought directions to develop curriculum, syllabus courses and textbooks for study of Yoga comprising ‘pranayama’ and also ‘asanas’ for all students from Class I to Class VIII.