'Mother tongue not must for private Schools'

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{image-kannada high court_03072008.jpg www.oneindia.com}Bangalore, Jul 3: The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday, July 3, held that State's policy compelling children studying in government-recognised but unaided schools to have primary education only in mother tongue or Kannada language is violative of the Constitution.

The court, however, held that the government policy introducing Kannada as first language to children in Government schools whose mother tongue is Kannada was valid. The policy that all children, whose mother tongue is not Kannada, the official language of the state, shall study Kannada language as one of the subject is also valid. The government policy to have mother tongue or regional language as the medium of instruction at the primary level is valid and legal in the case of schools run or aided by the State.

The court, however, held that the government policy compelling children studying in other Government-recognised schools to have primary education only in mother tongue or regional language is violative of Article 19 (1)(g), 26 and 30(1) of the Constitution relating to right to freedom of expression, right to manage religious affairs and religious minorities' right to establish and manage educational institutions.

A full bench of the High Court comprising the Chief Justice Cyriac Joseph, Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice N. Kumar passed the orders while partly allowing the batch of writ petitions filed by the Associated Managements of (Government-Recognised-Unaided-English Medium) Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka and others.

The petitioners, who belong to linguistic and religious minorities category, had challenged the government orders passed on April 22, 1994 and April 29, 2002.

The petitioners contended that the government orders were violative of the Constitution and that the students have the right to choose the language and medium of instruction.

The judges, after hearing the counsels of the parties and government counsels, in a detailed judgement, held that no citizen shall be denied admission to an educational institution only on the ground of language as stated in Article 29(2) of the constitution.

ANI

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