High Court stays penalty on derecognised schools in Karnataka

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Sat May 12 21:59:07 UTC 2007


*Date:11/05/2007* *URL:
http://www.thehindu.com/2007/05/11/stories/2007051112020100.htm*
------------------------------



*High Court stays penalty on derecognised schools *

Karnataka Bureau

  *Government, schools go into a huddle over next move *

 ------------------------------
*
Erring schools will be `staying alive' for next three weeks: Horatti
Schools have not yet started process of fresh admissions *
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BANGALORE: In a major blow to the State Government, the Karnataka High Court
on Thursday stayed a voluntary scheme formulated by the Government for
levying a penalty on schools found to be allegedly violating the policy on
medium of instruction.

Justice S.R. Kumaraswamy in an interim order stayed for three weeks the
scheme, formulated on April 12, 2007, under which the Government had
prescribed the quantum of penalty, ranging from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 1 lakh,
for schools found to have allegedly violated the policy on medium of
instruction.

The Government had announced the scheme after a committee found that 2,215
schools were teaching children from the 1st to 5th standard in English
though they were permitted to teach only in Kannada. The schools were issued
notices from September 15, 2006 by the Deputy Director of Public Instruction
(DDPI). When the matter came up for hearing, the Government told the court
it would enforce the rule from this academic year.

On April 12 this year, the State came up with the voluntary scheme, which
entailed a penalty and fresh admissions only to Kannada-medium classes.

Challenging this, the Karnataka Unaided Schools Management's Association
(KUSMA) argued that when the decision of the Full Bench, comprising Chief
Justice Cyriac Joseph and Justices Manjula Chellur and N. Kumar, on the
language policy of April 29, 1994 was still pending before the High Court,
the State had issued a Government Order (GO) giving effect to the voluntary
scheme and ordering the erring institutions' closure from May 15 this year.
KUSMA termed the GO as contrary to the law and also Section 105 of the
Karnataka Education Act 1983, in which it is stated that educational
institutions cannot be closed without a year's notice.

Justice Kumaraswamy stayed the GO for three weeks and posted to May 15
petitions by several other schools.

Minister's stand

Responding to the High Court stay, Primary Education Minister Basavaraj
Horatti said it meant that the erring schools would be "staying alive" for
the next three weeks. Though the May 15 deadline would be no longer valid,
it had no implication on the Government's policy on medium of instruction,
he said.

KUSMA president G.S. Sharma said that the stay gave them "breathing time" to
formulate their next course of action. He pointed out that there was no
provision for a fine above Rs. 5,000 under the Karnataka Education Act.

Asked how the derecognised schools, who are now in a state of limbo, were
handling the issue of fresh admissions given that schools reopen on June 1,
Mr. Sharma said that the schools had not yet started the process.

   **

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