[lg policy] Karnataka: High Court pulls up govt over language policy

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jul 9 14:45:12 UTC 2009

HC pulls up govt over language policy

Press Trust Of India / Chennai/ Bangalore July 09, 2009, 0:23 IST

The High Court today rapped the Karnataka government for failing to
act on its order striking down the state language policy making
Kannada a compulsory medium of instruction in primary schools,
rejecting its plea for more time to make clear its stand on the issue.

Hearing a batch of contempt petitions filed by private schools, a
bench comprising Justices N Kumar and A N Venugopala Gowda said even
after lapse of a year since the High Court pronounced its verdict on
July 2, 2008 striking down the government’s 1994 language policy, the
state took no steps to implement it.

The state government pleaded with the court for granting time till
July 21, when the Supreme Court hears its plea challenging the full
bench order, to make clear its stand on the issue. But the court,
rapped the government for its attempts at “buying time” and directed
that the Chief Secretary appear before it on July 13 and file an
affidavit making clear the state’s stand on the language policy.

Advocate General Ashok Haranahally pleaded with the court to give some
time to enable the government to approach the Supreme Court, and
pointed out that the apex court had fixed the matter for hearing on
July 21. The bench also dismissed another appeal by the state
challenging the single judge order of April 6, 2009 asking the
government to consider an application filed by private school
management to start English Medium classes. The Karnataka High Court
bench adjourned further hearing to July 13.

The state, which has already filed a special leave petition praying
for quashing of the High Court order on language policy, early this
week appealed to the Supreme Court to advance the date of hearing
which had been slated for August 10. The apex court has agreed to hear
the matter on July 21

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