Rajasthan HC examines question of Right to get Education in mother tongue

Rajasthan high court Law Insider

Mitali Palnitkar

Published On: January 06, 2022 at 16:57 IST

On January 4, 2022, the question as to whether the Right to get Education in Hindi or in mother tongue is a Fundamental Right or not, was examined by the Rajasthan High Court.

The Plea was filed by School Development Management Committee of Shri Hari Singh Senior Secondary School based in Jodhpur before the Bench of Justice Dinesh Mehta. The policy decision of the government to change the Hindi medium school to an English medium school was challenged by it. Hindi has been the medium of instruction since the School’s inception.

The Director of Secondary Education had sanctioned the conversion of 345 Government schools to Mahatma Gandhi Government Schools (English medium) including the School in question.

While examining the question, the High Court referred to the Supreme Court Judgment in the case of State of Karnataka & Anr v. Associated Management of English Medium Primary & Secondary Schools & Ors. (2014) 9 SCC 485, in which it was held that Article 19(1)(a) guarantees the Right to have Education in mother tongue or in particular medium. But the High Court clarified that there was a reasonable restriction to the right as per Article 19 Clause 2 and expressed its view that the State could prescribe a medium of instruction keeping in mind the overall development of child.

Referring to the Right to Education Act, 2009, the Court noted that Section 29 (2) (f) of the Act grants the Statutory Right of having elementary education in mother tongue. It also observed that Education falls under the Concurrent List of Schedule VII of the Constitution. Therefore, it stated, “Any Law made or framed by the State but for the assent of the President would be repugnant by virtue of Article 254 of the Constitution.”

The Court opined, “In the opinion of this Court, English, as a medium of instruction cannot be forced upon a child even by a Legislation Enacted by the State Government, much less by a policy decision.”

The Court concluded that the policy decision of the State shall be Quashed as Article 19(1)(a) protects the Right of the child to study in a particular medium of choice.

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