15/12/2015 3:28 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Can't Make Yoga Compulsory In Schools, Says Supreme Court

STRDEL via Getty Images
Indian schoolchildren take part in a yoga programme in Chennai on June 19, 2015, ahead of International Yoga Day on June 21. Preparations in India have been gathering pace since the UN agreed to the day, with schools, military barracks and even jails encouraged to participate in their own sessions. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)

The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday observed that people can neither be 'forced' to practice yoga nor can they be prevented from doing it.

Responding to a petition filed by 85-year-old advocate JC Seth, the apex court said, “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," reported The Indian Express.

According to a report on The Times of India, Seth's petition urges the SC to introduce yoga as a compulsory subject in schools across the country.

The Indian Express states: "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."

Seth wants the SC to give yoga a status similar to the right to free and compulsory education guaranteed to children in India, under Article 21A of the Constitution. He argued that the National Policy of Education, 1986 had suggested the same.

Earlier, the court had told Seth that such an arrangement is unfeasible, especially in minority schools.

The matter will be heard in court on 12 January 2016.

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