[lg policy] Karnataka: High Court takes a stand on language policy

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Sat Feb 28 14:55:11 UTC 2015

 The Karnataka High Court, on 25th February, 2015, asked the State
Government to explain why it was not willing to adhere to the Supreme
Court's verdict regarding language policy and why it was not in favour of
allowing English-medium schools from classes I to V.

"What is the difficulty in following the Apex Court verdict? Why can't you
grant permission? It (language policy) will be too late. In some schools,
the admission process begins in January-February. The issue is not in your
(State Government's) realm any longer. This Court is bound by the Supreme
Court verdict, and the Government is also bound by it," Justice BV
Nagarathna observed.

Previously, Advocate-General Ravivarma Kumar had submitted that the
Government wanted to frame a new language policy following a discussion at
the Legislature wherein it requested the Union Government to frame a
national policy on the medium of instruction. Kumar said that the policy
would be effective by April 2015, well before admissions for the academic
year 2015-16 commenced.

The Associated Managements of Government-Recognized English Medium Schools
in Karnataka (KAMS) counsel, GR Mohan stated that schools wanted to teach
in the English medium from Class I as per the wishes of parents, a fact
upheld by the High Court as well as the Supreme Court.

The Judge declined Advocate-General Ravivarma Kumar's request for
adjourning the hearing to the first week of April to allow sufficient time
for the Government to frame a new policy on medium of instruction to be
followed from classes I to V. He suggested that admissions to Class I in
English medium schools be allowed subject to the outcome of the State's
curative petition in the Apex Court.

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