[lg policy] Karnataka: Apex court disapproves of Karnataka's language policy

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jul 22 13:46:26 UTC 2009

Apex court disapproves of Karnataka's language policy

Tags: New Delhi Buzz up!vote now

(Source: IANS)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday refused to suspend a Karnataka
High Court order which junked the state government's language policy
binding all primary schools in the state to teach only in Kannada or
students' mother tongues and not in English. A bench of Chief Justice
K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice B.S. Chauhan
refused to suspend the July 2008 order of the high court. "The
language should be of universal advantage and not a barrier of
communication," it said. Refusing to accede to the state's plea to
suspend the high court's order, the apex court bench said: "The
parents should be given a choice in deciding the medium of instruction
for their children. The schools and parents must have an option."

It slated tentatively in the last week of August the final hearing on
the Karnataka government's lawsuit challenging the high court's order
that scrapped the state government's language policy and granted
freedom to the unaided minority schools in the state to choose their
own medium of instructions for all classes, including the primary
ones. The high court had later even launched the contempt-of-court
proceeding against several state government officials for allegedly
not permitting the unaided minority schools in the state to teach
students of classes I-IV in English.
The state government, in violation of the high court's July 2008
order, was asking the schools to follow the state's language policy of
1989, which stipulated that students in primary classes should be
imparted education only in Kannada or their mother tongues.

Following a brief hearing of the state's lawsuit, the apex court
halted permanently the contempt proceedings. Karnataka government
counsel Sanjay Hegde pointed out to the bench that the state has
already moved the apex court against the high court ruling.

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