States can’t force
mother tongue on pvt schools: SC
New Delhi, May 6
While linguistic and religious minority institutions enjoyed freedom under Articles 29(1) and 30(1) of the constitution respectively, other private schools had their right to carry on any occupation under Article 19(1)(g), a five-member Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice RM Lodha held.
The apex court delivered the 67-page judgment on a batch appeals from Karnataka challenging the state government order directing the schools to offer education only in Kannada or the respective mother tongues of the children.
In the verdict, the SC framed as many as five questions on various aspects of mother tongue and medium of education and provided answers to them. Defining mother tongue, the apex court said it would be chosen by the parent or the guardian of the child and not decided on the basis of the language the student was comfortable with. “The Constitution nowhere provides that mother tongue is the language which the child is comfortable with,” it explained. Though this interpretation was possible, “this is not the meaning of mother tongue in Article 350A of the Constitution or in any other provision.”
On the right of the student or the parents to choose the medium of instruction at the primary level, the Bench said this was possible under the right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, but not for the purpose of getting free education under the Right to Education Act enacted under Article 21.
The SC clarified that though experts might be uniform in their opinion that children studying in classes one to five would learn better if they were taught in their mother tongue, the State “cannot stipulate” that minority schools should do this as condition for getting recognition.
The court also made it clear that government-recognised schools would not only include government-aided schools but also unaided schools granted recognition.
In reply to a question, the Bench held that “state has no power under Article 350A of the Constitution to compel the linguistic minorities to choose their mother tongue only as a medium of instruction in primary schools.”
The other members of the Bench were Justices AK Patnaik, who wrote the verdict, SJ Mukhopadhaya, Dipak Misra and FMI Kalifulla.
Pvt schools bound to offer free education to poor: SC
New Delhi, May 6
A five-member Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice RM Lodha held that this would not affect their fundamental right to carry on occupation guaranteed under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution as the government would reimburse the expenditure, going by the per-child expenses incurred by the state.
“Thus, ultimately it is the state which is funding the expenses of free and compulsory education of the children belonging to weaker sections,” the Bench explained. The other judges on the Bench were Justices AK Patnaik, who authored the verdict, SJ Mukhopadhaya, Dipak Misra and FMI Kalifulla.
The SC delivered the 75-page verdict on petitions filed by private schools, including minority institutions, challenging the RTE Act. The apex court allowed the petitions of the minority schools, but rejected the contentions of non-minority institutions.
Forcing minority schools to admit students from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and offer them free education would “destroy the minority character” of such institutions which got protection under Article 30(1) of the Constitution.
Religious and linguistic minorities had a special constitutional right to establish and administer educational schools of their choice.
Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir |
Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs |
Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |