TN: Notice to Committee on classical lang

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Chennai, Aug 6: Madras High Court has issued notice to the Union Government on a writ petition challenging the setting up of a Central Committee to consider granting Classical Language Status to Telugu and Kannada as ''it has not been appropriately constituted and therefore, should be restrained.'' The First Bench Comprising Chief Justices A K Gangully and F M Ibrahim Kallifulla admitted the petition filed by Senior Advocate R Gandhi and directed Assistant Solicitor General P Wilson to file the counter within two weeks.

In his petition, Mr Gandhi submitted, the expert committee, constituted by the Union Government, was not that of erudite scholars and it could not take an ''objective decision free from sentimental affinity and external pressure, including aggressive threats.'' Pointing out that the committee had two members each from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, he said ''with the present composition, one cannot expect an objective evaluation of these two languages to see whether they fulfill the criteria for being accorded the status.'' The petitioner also noted that the expert committee constituted by the Centre to consider the case of Sanskrit and Tamil did not have any member from Tamil Nadu.

''They made their recommendation on the basis of universal recognition of classical status enjoyed by Sanskrit and Tamil,''he added.

Mr Gandhi said members from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka were threatened and could not take any decision other than recommending granting of classical language status to the languages.

''The appointment of a retired chief justice of a high court or a retired judge of the Supreme Court as chairman alone would ensure that the committee was free from subjective attachment,'' Mr Gandhi contended.

The petitioner also wanted the court to constitute a new committee comprising erudite scholars and restrain the Centre and the Sahithya Akademi from convening the meeting of the present committee.


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