Govt drops legislation route to make Kannada medium of instruction

The State government on Tuesday dropped its proposal of  bringing in a legislation to ensure Kannada or mother tongue as medium of instruction in unaided primary schools.

It, however, decided to go ahead with filing a review petition in the Supreme Court. The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

Briefing reporters, Siddaramaiah said the government will file a review petition by June 5  before the Supreme Court seeking review of its ruling that the State cannot impose mother tongue as medium of instruction in unaided primary schools.

He said the proposal on taking the legislation route was dropped on the advice of legal experts who felt the move would not stand legal scrutiny.

The apex court, on May 6, had upheld a Karnataka High court judgment striking down an executive order issued by the State government in 1994 to impose Kannada or mother tongue as medium of instruction in primary schools from Classes I to IV stating that it infringed upon the right to freedom of expression and speech.

Siddaramaiah said a review petition will have to be filed within one month from the date of ruling. If the review petition is not admitted then the government will file a curative petition before the Supreme Court, he added. Siddaramaiah said he will also write chief ministers of all states that there needs to be consensus on the medium of instruction in the country.

Law Minister T B Jayachandra said the last resort would be to impress upon the Centre to bring in constitutional amendments to ensure mother tongue as medium of instruction in primary schools.

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