[lg policy] Karnataka: High Court gives state a last chance

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jul 15 21:34:27 UTC 2009

HC gives state a last chance
Srikanth Hunasavadi / DNATuesday, July 14, 2009 10:02 IST Email

Bangalore: The Karnataka High Court on Monday decided to give a
three-day further reprieve to the state government on the issue of
implementing the state's language policy of forcing Kannada on private
and unaided English primary schools in the state.At the state's
request, Justice N Kumar and Justice AN Venugopala Gowda, who headed
the bench, adjourned the matter to Thursday (July 16). The reprieve
comes in the wake of the state's special leave petition awaiting a
verdict in the Supreme Court. when the matter is expected to come up
for hearing in the next two-three days. The apex court will decide
whether or not to bring a stay on the July 2, 2008, full bench order
of the High Court that struck down Karnataka's language policy, that
makes it compulsory for private and unaided English primary schools to
compulsorily implement Kannada as the medium of instruction.

But, the issue which began in 1994, finally seemed headed for a
conclusion when, after 14 years of litigation, on July 2, 2008, a High
Court full bench struck down the state's language policy stating that
it was unconstitutional for the state government to force Kannada on
private and unaided English primary schools in the state. The full
bench order had directed the state to register the schools and allow
them to use English as the medium of instruction, if they so wished.
However, the state has not yet implemented the court order. Instead,
it applied for a SLP in the Supreme Court appealing for a stay on the
full bench order. The state government's stand now is that it would
not implement the full bench order unless the apex court delivers its

At least 2,000 private and unaided English primary schools have made
applications to the High Court against the language policy. Around 5%
of these schools paid fines to the state government and obtained
permission to function by implementing the language policy.

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