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Kannada language issue: Hearing commences before HC

Written by: Staff

Bangalore, Mar 31 (UNI) A full Bench of the Karnataka High Court today commenced hearing of petitions challenging the government order for maintaining primacy of Kannada language in schools and making it compulsory in primary schools.

The Bench, comprising Chief Justice Cyriac Joseph, Ms Justice Manjula Chellur and Mr Justice N Kumar, heard the arguments on the petitions filed by managements of several private schools.

The Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in the State, one of the petitioners, challenged the constitutional validity of the government order, dated April 29, 1994 in respect of English medium schools, stating that the medium of instruction for all schools seeking recognition shall be Kannada or mother tongue.

The impugned order made Kannada compulsory from classes one to four and for non-Kannadigas, it made Kannada optional from class three. It also made Kannada the second language from class five.

The petitioners contended that the impugned order was not feasible and constitutional and said it was vague and had not been made with application of mind. Besides, the concept of mother tongue was also not precise.

They said the order was issued in 1994 after the Supreme Court passed an order in 1983 setting aside all the earlier orders on the said subject. The government appointed a Committee to examine the question and on the basis of the report issued the impugned order.

The petitioners also argued that the impugned order vitiated the rights of the linguistic minorities under the Constitution.

The arguments remained inconclusive when the court rose for the day and further hearing was adjourned to April 12.


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