[lg policy] Bangalore: High Court says Government has no choice: ‘Implement verdict on language policy’
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Thu Jul 9 15:13:22 UTC 2009
Karnataka - Bangalore
‘Implement verdict on language policy’
High Court says Government has no choice
BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday once again said that
the State Government had no choice but to implement its judgment on
the language policy upholding the right of primary school children to
study in the medium of instruction of their choice. The court made it
clear that as the State Government had sought a stay from the Supreme
Court on the Full Bench judgment of the High Court of July 2, 2008 on
the language policy, the judgment continued to operate and that it
would have to be implemented.
A Division Bench comprising Justice N. Kumar and Justice A.N.
Venugopala Gowda made these remarks when it was hearing a writ appeal
by the State on the language policy and several contempt petitions
filed by private managements assailing the Government for not
complying with court orders. The State had filed the writ appeal
against a single judge order in April 2009. The single judge had
quashed the endorsement given by the Deputy Director of Public
Instruction (DDPI), Bangalore North, saying that permission for
changing the medium of instruction from Kannada to English could not
be given as the language issue is pending before the Supreme Court.
Change of medium
When the matter came up on Wednesday, Advocate-General Ashok
Haranahalli, said 1,362 schools had filed applications seeking a
change in the medium from Kannada to English from the first to the
fourth standard. He said the State had sought early hearing of its
appeal against the Full Bench order before the Supreme Court and that
the Supreme Court had advanced the date of hearing from August 10 to
July 21. He urged the court to defer hearing of the appeal and the
contempt petitions till July 21.
The Bench pointed out that when the matter came up on Friday last, the
same arguments were addressed and that it had given time till
Wednesday hoping that the AG would ensure that the officials saw
reason and implemented the High Court order.
It said the Government could grant permission to the schools to start
teaching in English pending adjudication in the Supreme Court. In case
the Supreme Court stayed the Full Bench order or set it aside, the
Government could ask the schools to fall back to teaching in Kannada.
It dismissed the appeal by the State Government and all other
interlocutory applications urging it to defer hearing of the matter
till July 21.
When the contempt petitions came up for hearing, the AG sought time.
The Bench sought to know how many officers in the Government had read
the Full Bench judgment. If they had read the judgment, there would
not be so much confusion, it said. It decided to post the contempt
petitions to Monday and orally asked the Chief Secretary to file an
affidavit detailing the stand of the State on the language policy.
Karnataka Unaided Schools Management Association (KUSMA) has decided
to file a caveat in the Supreme Court to pre-empt the State Government
from obtaining any ex-parte order on the language policy. KUSMA and
some private schools, who have been denied permission by the State
Government to switch over to English medium, apprehend that the State
might move the Supreme Court after failing to buy time in High Court.
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