Press Esc to close
Tuesday 28 March 2017
News updated at 2:04 AM IST

State can't impose mother tongue on schools, says SC

New Delhi, May 6, 2014 DHNS
The Supreme court today ruled that the government cannot impose mother tongue on linguistic minority for imparting primary education as it affects the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution. PTI photo
In a path-breaking ruling, the Supreme Court on Tuesday held that the state government does not have the right to impose the mother tongue of a child as the medium of instruction in primary education.

A five-judge Constitution bench presided by Chief Justice R M Lodha ruled that the imposition of mother tongue affected the fundamental rights under Articles 19 (freedom of speech and expression), 29 (protection of interests of minorities) and 30 (right of minorities to establish institution) of the Constitution.

The bench, also comprising Justices A K Patnaik, S J Mukhopadhaya, Dipak Misra and F M I Kalifullah, gave the ruling while dealing with the Karnataka government’s controversial language policy of 1994. The state government had gone on appeal against the High Court order which had struck down the language policy of 1994, which mandated the medium of instruction in government recognised schools from Class I to IV should be in mother tongue or “Kannada”.

The court said, though the experts may be uniform in their opinion that primary schoolchildren can learn better if they are taught in their mother tongue, the state cannot stipulate it as a condition for recognition as it would affect the rights of the minorities.
It also noted that the Constitution nowhere provided that the mother tongue is the language in which the child is comfortable with.

“We are of the view that the right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution includes the freedom of a child to be educated at the primary stage of school in a language of the choice of the child and the state cannot impose controls on such a choice just because it thinks that it will be more beneficial for the child if he is taught in the primary stage of school in his mother tongue,” the bench said.
“We, therefore, hold that a child or on his behalf the parent or guardian, has a right to freedom of choice with regard to the medium of instruction in which he would like to be educated at the primary stage in school,” the bench added.

The SC had not stayed the High Court order quashing the 1994 notification, but the government was alleged to be slow in granting any recognition to English-medium schools.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, foreground, speaks to press in a court room in Moscow....

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, foreground, speaks to press in a court room in Moscow....

A huge fish that was found in the sea near Vijaydurg in Sindhudurg, Maharashtra on Monday....

A huge fish that was found in the sea near Vijaydurg in Sindhudurg, Maharashtra on Monday....

Jaime Yarza (3rdL), Head of Tournament FIFA and Javier Ceppi (R),Tournament Director, LOCFIFA....

Jaime Yarza (3rdL), Head of Tournament FIFA and Javier Ceppi (R),Tournament Director, LOCFIFA....

Indian players during the tea break at the 3rd day of last test match against Australia at HPCA...

Indian players during the tea break at the 3rd day of last test match against Australia at HPCA...

Guillaume Sicard, President, Nissan India Operations poses with the newly launched New Terrano...

Guillaume Sicard, President, Nissan India Operations poses with the newly launched New Terrano...

An ASHA worker holding the newborn baby girl, who was found buried-alive in a manure heap...

An ASHA worker holding the newborn baby girl, who was found buried-alive in a manure heap...

Preparations underway for the “Namami Brahmaputra” festival in Guwahati on Monday....

Preparations underway for the “Namami Brahmaputra” festival in Guwahati on Monday....

Tourists enjoying photography at Badamwari (Almond Alcove) in Srinagar on Monday. The almond trees..

Tourists enjoying photography at Badamwari (Almond Alcove) in Srinagar on Monday. The almond trees..

Nepalese army soldiers demonstrate their horse riding skills during the Ghode Jatra festival...

Nepalese army soldiers demonstrate their horse riding skills during the Ghode Jatra festival...

A group of devotees arrive to participate in the annual Urs of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer...

A group of devotees arrive to participate in the annual Urs of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523