Telugu v/s English in Andhra schools: SC declines to stay HC order

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday declined an interim stay on an Andhra Pradesh High Court order quashing its decision making compulsory for students of government schools to study in English medium from Class 1 to 6 in the ongoing academic year.

The apex court will hear arguments on this on the next date of hearing three weeks later.

A bench comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud, K M Joseph, and Indu Malhotra noted that Section 29(2)(f) of the Act says the medium should be in the mother tongue "so far as it is applicable" unless not possible, and it seems the High Court had considered this.

Senior advocate K V Viswanathan, appearing for the state government, argued that the government's decision is a progressive measure and sought a stay on the High Court order.

He submitted before the bench that nothing in the Right to Education Act, which says that the medium has to be in the mother tongue. Viswanathan said the government undertook a survey and the majority of parents desire English medium.

Senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayan, who is on caveat, opposed the stay on the High Court and submitted that the state should be fostering its mother tongue. Sankaranarayan argued that the choice is being taken away from parents and children, as Telugu speaking schools are being replaced with English medium.

Viswanathan reiterated that the top court should stay the High Court order. The bench allowed Sankaranarayan to file a reply and declined to stay the High Court order.

The Andhra Pradesh High Court had on April 15 struck down the Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy-government's decision making English medium mandatory and termed the order "unconstitutional and violative of several Acts, including the Right to Education Act".

The government had issued the orders on November 20, 2019.

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