SC declines to stay HC fiat on medium

SC declines to stay HC fiat on medium

Apex court to hear Karnataka petition challenging the verdict on July 21

SC declines to stay HC fiat on medium

However, the Apex Court fixed July 21 as the date to hear the petition filed by the Karnataka government, challenging the High Court ruling that quashed its policy that made it mandatory for private unaided and minority institutions to adopt Kannada as the medium of instruction.

After Karnataka Advocate General Ashok Haranhalli and advocate Sanjay Hegde mentioned the matter for an urgent hearing, a bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said: “The matter would be heard on July 21.”

Hegde said that even as the matter was pending adjudication by the Supreme Court, the State government had issued its fiat at a time when the academic session for schools had begun. He said that private unaided and minority institutions have admitted students to their schools and would not make Kannada compulsory according to the State's language policy. ''The government will face contempt of court proceedings if it forces the schools to teach students in Kannada,'' Hegde submitted while mentioning the matter.

The State government had sought a stay on the High Court's order of July 2, 2008 so that private unaided and minority institutions did not admit students for imparting education in English. ''The Apex Court may be pleased to grant an interim order on stay of the order dated July 2, 2008 in the interest of justice and equity,'' said the application.

Some of the institutions had applied for permission to start English medium schools and sought a green signal for a change over the medium instruction from Kannada to English. The State government had denied permission since the matter was pending before the SC, Hegde's petition said.

According to the petition, “the State government evolved interim language policy on June, 1989 introducing mother tongue as a media of instructions from Standard I to Standard IV.”

While challenging the HC order, Karnataka’s petition said the State had issued endorsements refusing permission to institutions to start English-medium schools or to switch from Kannada to English medium.

The Associated Management of Unaided Primary and Secondary Schools had challenged the Karnataka government’s order in the HC. Though the main case relating to language policy is pending before the Supreme Court, the petition said some private schools had declared that English would be the medium of instruction in their prospectus circulated at the time of admission in April, 2009. A total of 1,400 schools covering all the four educational districts have filed applications seeking permission to teach in English medium. Most of them have been turned down.

DH News Service

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