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Monday, May 12, 2014

Education -Instructions of Medium only in mother tongue or Kannada - constitutional court declared as un constitutional - Karnataka govt. Medium of Instruction - Govt. issued Order dt . 29.04.1994 imposing mother tongue or Kannada only from 1st stand. to IV th stand. permission was given only to English mother tongue student to shift to English medium after V th stand. - Constitutional court Declared as invalid - We accordingly hold that State has no power under Article 350A of the Constitution to compel the linguistic minorities to choose their mother tongue only as a medium of instruction in primary schools.= State of Karnataka & Anr. … Appellants Versus Associated Management of (Government Recognised – Unaided – English Medium) Primary & Secondary Schools & Ors. … Respondents =2014 ( May.Part) http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41504

  Education -Instructions of Medium  only in mother tongue or Kannada - constitutional court declared as un constitutional - Karnataka govt. Medium of Instruction - Govt. issued Order dt . 29.04.1994 imposing mother tongue or Kannada only from 1st stand. to IV th stand. permission was given only to English mother tongue student to shift to English medium after V th stand. - Constitutional court Declared as invalid - We accordingly hold that  State has  no  power  under  Article  350A  of  the  Constitution  to  compel  the linguistic minorities to choose their mother tongue  only  as  a  medium  of instruction in primary schools.=

The  Government  of  Karnataka  issued  a  Government   Order   dated
19.06.1989 prescribing that “from 1st  standard  to  IVth  standard,  mother
tongue will be the medium of instruction”.  
On  22.06.1989,  the  Government
of Karnataka issued a corrigendum substituting the aforesaid  words  in  the
earlier Government Order dated 19.06.1989 by the following words:


          “from 1st standard to IVth standard, where it  is  expected  that
          normally mother tongue will be the medium of instruction.”



The orders dated 19.06.1989  and  22.06.1989  were  challenged  before  this
Court and a Division Bench of this Court in its  judgment  dated  08.12.1993
in English Medium Students Parents Association v. State of Karnataka &  Ors.
[(1994) 1 SCC 550] held that the two orders of the Government  of  Karnataka
were constitutionally valid.

   3. Thereafter, in cancellation of all earlier orders pertaining  to  the
      subject, the Government of  Karnataka  issued  a  fresh  order  dated
      29.04.1994 regarding the language policy to be  followed  in  primary
      and high schools  with  effect  from  the  academic  year  1994-1995.
      Clauses 2 to 8 of the Government Order dated 29.04.1994,  with  which
      we are concerned in this reference, are extracted hereinbelow:-


          “2. The medium of instruction should be mother tongue or Kannada,
          with effect from the academic  year  1994-95  in  all  Government
          recognized schools in classes 1 to 4.


          3. The students admitted to 1st standard  with  effect  from  the
          academic year 94-95, should be taught in mother tongue or Kannada
          medium.


          4. However, permission can be granted to the schools to  continue
          to teach in the pre-existing medium to the students of  standards
          2 to 4 during the academic year 94-95.


          5. The students are permitted to change over to  English  or  any
          other language as medium at their choice, from 5th standard.


          6. Permission can be granted to only students whose mother tongue
          is English, to study in English medium  in  classes  1  to  4  in
          existing recognized English medium schools.


          7. The Government will consider regularization  of  the  existing
          unrecognized schools as per policy indicated in paragraphs 1 to 6
          mentioned above. Request of schools who have  complied  with  the
          provisions of the code of education and  present  policy  of  the
          government will be considered on the basis of the report  of  the
          Zilla  Panchayat   routed   through   commissioner   for   public
          instructions.


          8. It is directed that all  unauthorized  schools  which  do  not
          comply with the above conditions, will be closed down.” 

Thus, these clauses of the Government order dated 29.04.1994  provided  that
medium of instruction should be mother tongue or Kannada  with  effect  from
the academic year 1994-1995 in all Government recognized schools in  classes
I to IV and the students can be permitted to change over to English  or  any
other language as medium of their  choice  from  class  V.   The  Government
Order dated 29.04.1994, however, clarified that permission  can  be  granted
to only those students whose mother tongue is English, to study  in  English
medium in classes I to IV in existing recognized English medium schools.
 =

whether the State can by virtue of Article 350-A  of
      the Constitution compel the linguistic  minorities  to  choose  their
      mother tongue only as medium of instruction in primary schools ?

We have extracted Article  350A  of  the  Constitution  above  and  we  have
noticed that in this Article it is provided that it shall be  the  endeavour
of every State and of every local authority  within  the  State  to  provide
adequate facilities for instruction in the  mother  tongue  at  the  primary
stage of education to children belonging to linguistic minority groups.   
We
have already held that a linguistic minority  under  Article  30(1)  of  the
Constitution has the right to choose the  medium  of  instruction  in  which
education will be imparted in the primary stages of the school which it  has
established.  
Article 350A therefore cannot be interpreted  to  empower  the
State to compel a linguistic minority to choose its mother tongue only as  a
medium of instruction in a primary school established by it in violation  of
this fundamental right under Article 30(1).  
We accordingly hold that  State
has  no  power  under  Article  350A  of  the  Constitution  to  compel  the
linguistic minorities to choose their mother tongue  only  as  a  medium  of
instruction in primary schools.
2014 ( May.Part) http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41504
   
R.M. LODHA, A.K. PATNAIK, SUDHANSU JYOTI MUKHOPADHAYA, DIPAK MISRA, FAKKIR MOHAMED IBRAHIM KALIFULLA
                                                            Reportable

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                     CIVIL APPEAL Nos.5166-5190 OF 2013

State of Karnataka & Anr.                                … Appellants

                                   Versus

Associated Management of (Government
Recognised – Unaided – English Medium)
Primary & Secondary Schools & Ors.            … Respondents

                                    WITH

                      WRIT PETITION (C) No.290 of 2009

Nallur Prasad & Ors.                                        … Appellants

                                   Versus

State of Karnataka & Ors.                             … Respondents

                     CIVIL APPEAL Nos.5191-5199 OF 2013

R.G. Nadadur & Ors.                                        … Appellants

                                   Versus

Shubodaya Vidya Samasthe & Anr.              … Respondents

                                     AND

                  CIVIL APPEAL No.     5090         OF 2014
                (Arising out of S.L.P. (C) No.32858 of 2013)

State of Karnataka & Ors.                                … Appellants

                                   Versus

Mohamed Hussain Jucka                               … Respondent


                               J U D G M E N T

A. K. PATNAIK, J.




      Leave granted in S.L.P. (C) No.32858 of 2013.
Facts leading to the reference to the Constitution Bench:


2.     The  Government  of  Karnataka  issued  a  Government   Order   dated
19.06.1989 prescribing that “from 1st  standard  to  IVth  standard,  mother
tongue will be the medium of instruction”.  On  22.06.1989,  the  Government
of Karnataka issued a corrigendum substituting the aforesaid  words  in  the
earlier Government Order dated 19.06.1989 by the following words:


          “from 1st standard to IVth standard, where it  is  expected  that
          normally mother tongue will be the medium of instruction.”



The orders dated 19.06.1989  and  22.06.1989  were  challenged  before  this
Court and a Division Bench of this Court in its  judgment  dated  08.12.1993
in English Medium Students Parents Association v. State of Karnataka &  Ors.
[(1994) 1 SCC 550] held that the two orders of the Government  of  Karnataka
were constitutionally valid.

   3. Thereafter, in cancellation of all earlier orders pertaining  to  the
      subject, the Government of  Karnataka  issued  a  fresh  order  dated
      29.04.1994 regarding the language policy to be  followed  in  primary
      and high schools  with  effect  from  the  academic  year  1994-1995.
      Clauses 2 to 8 of the Government Order dated 29.04.1994,  with  which
      we are concerned in this reference, are extracted hereinbelow:-


          “2. The medium of instruction should be mother tongue or Kannada,
          with effect from the academic  year  1994-95  in  all  Government
          recognized schools in classes 1 to 4.


          3. The students admitted to 1st standard  with  effect  from  the
          academic year 94-95, should be taught in mother tongue or Kannada
          medium.


          4. However, permission can be granted to the schools to  continue
          to teach in the pre-existing medium to the students of  standards
          2 to 4 during the academic year 94-95.


          5. The students are permitted to change over to  English  or  any
          other language as medium at their choice, from 5th standard.


          6. Permission can be granted to only students whose mother tongue
          is English, to study in English medium  in  classes  1  to  4  in
          existing recognized English medium schools.


          7. The Government will consider regularization  of  the  existing
          unrecognized schools as per policy indicated in paragraphs 1 to 6
          mentioned above. Request of schools who have  complied  with  the
          provisions of the code of education and  present  policy  of  the
          government will be considered on the basis of the report  of  the
          Zilla  Panchayat   routed   through   commissioner   for   public
          instructions.


          8. It is directed that all  unauthorized  schools  which  do  not
          comply with the above conditions, will be closed down.”


Thus, these clauses of the Government order dated 29.04.1994  provided  that
medium of instruction should be mother tongue or Kannada  with  effect  from
the academic year 1994-1995 in all Government recognized schools in  classes
I to IV and the students can be permitted to change over to English  or  any
other language as medium of their  choice  from  class  V.   The  Government
Order dated 29.04.1994, however, clarified that permission  can  be  granted
to only those students whose mother tongue is English, to study  in  English
medium in classes I to IV in existing recognized English medium schools.

   4.  Aggrieved by the clauses of the Government  Order  dated  29.04.1994
      which prescribed that the medium of instruction in classes I to IV in
      all Government recognized schools will be mother  tongue  or  Kannada
      only, the Associated Management of Primary and Secondary  Schools  in
      Karnataka filed Writ Petition No.14363 of 1994  and  contended  inter
      alia that the right to choose the medium of instruction in classes  I
      to IV of a school is a fundamental  right  under  Articles  19(1)(a),
      19(1)(g), 26, 29 and 30(1) of the Constitution and that the  impugned
      clauses of the order dated 29.04.1994 of the Government of  Karnataka
      are ultra vires the Constitution.  The State  of  Karnataka  and  its
      officers, on the other hand, relied on the decision of  the  Division
      Bench of this Court in English Medium Students Parents Association v.
      State of Karnataka & Ors. (supra) and contended  that  the  State  in
      exercise of its power to regulate primary education can, as a  matter
      of policy, prescribe that the medium of instruction in classes  I  to
      IV would be in mother tongue of the child or Kannada.  The  State  of
      Karnataka also contended that Article 350A of the Constitution  casts
      a duty on the State to provided adequate facilities  for  instruction
      in the mother tongue at the primary stage of  education  to  children
      belonging  to  linguistic  minority  groups  and  the  Government  of
      Karnataka, after considering a report of  experts  in  the  field  of
      education, has prescribed in the Government  Order  dated  29.04.1994
      that medium of instruction for children studying in classes I  to  IV
      shall be in the mother tongue of the child.

   5. A Full Bench of the Karnataka High Court heard the writ petition  and
      all other connected writ petitions and in its common  judgment  dated
      02.07.2008, held:

        “(1) Right to education is a fundamental right being a  species  of
        right to life  flowing  from  Article 21 of  the  Constitution.  By
        virtue  of  Article 21-A right  to  free  and  compulsory   primary
        education is a fundamental right guaranteed to all children of  the
        age of six to fourteen years. The  right  to  choose  a  medium  of
        instruction is  implicit  in  the  right  to  education.  It  is  a
        fundamental right of the parent and the child to choose the  medium
        of instruction even in primary schools.


        (2) Right to freedom of speech and expression includes the right to
        choose a medium of instruction.

        (3) Imparting education is an occupation and, therefore, the  right
        to carry on  any  occupation  under  Article 19(1)(g) includes  the
        right to establish and administer  an  educational  institution  of
        one's choice. 'One's choice'  includes  the  choice  of  medium  of
        instruction.


        (4) Under Article 26 of the Constitution of India  every  religious
        denomination has a right to establish and maintain  an  institution
        for charitable purposes which includes an educational  institution.
        This is a  right  available  to  majority  and  minority  religious
        denominations.


        (5) Every section of the society  which  has  a  distinct  language
        script or culture of its own has the fundamental right to  conserve
        the same. This is a right which is conferred on both  majority  and
        minority, under Article 29(1) of the Constitution.


        (6) All minorities,  religious  or  linguistic,  have  a  right  to
        establish and administer educational institutions of  their  choice
        under Article 30(1) of the Constitution.


        (7) Thus, every citizen, every religious  denomination,  and  every
        linguistic and religious  minority,  have  a  right  to  establish,
        administer and  maintain  an  educational  institution  of  his/its
        choice under Articles  19(1)(g), 26 and 30(1) of  the  Constitution
        of India,  which  includes  the  right  to  choose  the  medium  of
        instruction.


        (8)  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 of India.


        (9) The Government policy in introducing Kannada as first  language
        to the children whose mother tongue is Kannada is 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
        subjects 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.

        (10) But, the Government policy  compelling  children  studying  in
        other Government recognized schools to have primary education  only
        in the mother tongue or  the  regional  language  is  violative  of
        Article 19(1) (g), 26 and 30(1) of the Constitution of India.”




The High Court accordingly allowed the writ petitions  and  quashed  clauses
2, 3, 6 and 8 of the Government order dated 29.04.1994 in their  application
to schools other than schools run or aided  by  the  Government  but  upheld
rest of the Government order dated 29.04.1994.

   6. Aggrieved by the judgment dated 02.07.2008 of the Full Bench  of  the
      High Court, the State of Karnataka and  the  Commissioner  of  Public
      Instruction, Bangalore, have  filed  Civil  Appeal  Nos.5166-5190  of
      2013.   Fifteen  educationists  claiming  to  be  keen  that  primary
      education in the State of Karnataka from I to IV standard  should  be
      in the mother tongue of the child or Kannada  have  also  filed  Writ
      Petition (C) No.290 of 2009 for declaring that the  Government  Order
      dated 29.04.1994 is constitutionally  valid  in  respect  of  unaided
      Government recognised primary schools and  for  a  writ  of  mandamus
      directing the State Government  to  implement  the  Government  Order
      dated 29.04.1994.

   7. As the judgment dated 02.07.2008 of the Full Bench of the High  Court
      was not implemented for more than a year, a  Division  Bench  of  the
      High Court passed an order dated 03.07.2009 in Writ Appeal No.1682 of
      2009 and other connected matters asking the Government  of  Karnataka
      to comply with the judgment dated 02.07.2008 of the Full Bench of the
      High Court and aggrieved by the said order dated 03.07.2009  in  Writ
      Appeal  No.1682  of  2009,  different  officers  of   the   Education
      Department of the Government of Karnataka  have  filed  Civil  Appeal
      Nos.5191-5199 of 2013.

   8. A learned Single Judge of the Karnataka High Court directed the State
      of Karnataka in Writ Petition No.3044 of 1994 to grant permission  to
      an institution to run English medium school from 1st standard to  4th
      standard by order dated 22.01.1996.  The order of the learned  Single
      Judge was challenged before the Division Bench of the High  Court  in
      Writ Appeal No.2740 of 1997, but on 21.02.2012 the Division Bench  of
      the High Court dismissed the writ appeal saying that the order  dated
      08.07.2008 of  the  Full  Bench  of  the  High  Court  in  Associated
      Management of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka v. The State
      of Karnataka & Ors. has not been stayed by this Court in the  Special
      Leave Petition under Article 136 of the Constitution.   Aggrieved  by
      the order dated 21.02.2012 passed  by  the  Division  Bench  in  Writ
      Appeal No.2740 of 1997, the State  of  Karnataka  has  filed  Special
      Leave Petition (C) No.32858 of 2013.

The questions referred to the Constitution Bench:

   9. All these matters were heard by a Division Bench of this Court and on
      05.07.2013,  the  Division  Bench  passed  an  order  referring   the
      following questions for consideration by the Constitution Bench:


      “(i) What does Mother tongue mean? If it referred to as  the  language
      in which the child is comfortable with, then who will decide the same?


      (ii) Whether a student or a parent or a citizen has a right to  choose
      a medium of instruction at primary stage?




      (iii) Does the imposition of mother  tongue  in  any  way  affect  the
      fundamental  rights  under  Article  14,  19,  29  and   30   of   the
      Constitution?




      (iv) Whether the Government recognized schools are inclusive  of  both
      government-aided schools and private & unaided schools?




      (v)  Whether  the  State  can  by  virtue  of  Article  350-A  of  the
      Constitution compel the linguistic minorities to choose  their  mother
      tongue only as medium of instruction in primary schools?”

In its order dated 05.07.2013, the Division Bench  also  observed  that  the
Constitution Bench may  take  into  consideration  ancillary  or  incidental
questions which may arise during the course of  hearing  of  the  cases  and
further   directed   that   all   other    connected    matters    including
petitions/applications shall be placed before the Constitution Bench.


Contentions of learned counsel for the State of Karnataka:

  10. At the hearing before the Constitution Bench,  Professor  Ravi  Varma
      Kumar, the learned Advocate  General  for  the  State  of  Karnataka,
      submitted  that  the  State  Reorganization   Commission,   1955   in
      paragraphs 773 to 777 of its report has referred  to  the  resolution
      adopted at the Provincial Education  Ministers’  Conference  held  in
      August, 1949 that the medium of instruction and  examination  in  the
      junior basic stage must be the mother tongue of the  child  and  that
      the mother tongue of the child will be the language declared  by  the
      parent or guardian to be the mother tongue.  He submitted  that  this
      resolution adopted at the Provincial Education Ministers’  Conference
      held in August, 1949, has been approved by the  Government  of  India
      and now serves as  a  guide  for  the  State  Governments  in  making
      arrangements for the education of the school-going  children  in  the
      respective States.  He submitted that after the report of  the  State
      Reorganization Commission, 1955, Article 350A has been introduced  in
      the Constitution providing that it shall be the  endeavour  of  every
      State and of every  local  authority  within  the  State  to  provide
      adequate facilities for instruction  in  the  mother  tongue  at  the
      primary stage of education to  children  belonging  to  a  linguistic
      minority group.

  11. The learned Advocate General submitted that, in this background,  the
      Government order dated 29.04.1994 was issued  by  the  Government  of
      Karnataka prescribing that the medium  of  instruction  for  children
      studying in classes I to IV in all primary schools recognized by  the
      Government will be mother tongue or Kannada from  the  academic  year
      1994-95.  He cited the judgment of the Division Bench of  this  Court
      in English Medium Students Parents Association v. State of  Karnataka
      & Ors. (supra) to submit that experts are  unanimous  in  their  view
      that the basic knowledge can easily be acquired by  a  child  through
      his mother tongue and that the State Government has the power to  lay
      down a policy prescribing that the medium of instruction for children
      studying in I to IV standards in all Government recognized schools in
      Karnataka will be Kannada or mother tongue.

  12.   The learned Advocate General next submitted that the High Court was
      not right in coming to the conclusion that the right  to  freedom  of
      speech and  expression  guaranteed  under  Article  19(1)(a)  of  the
      Constitution includes the right to choose a medium of instruction and
      that in exercise of this right, it is  a  fundamental  right  of  the
      parents and the child to  choose  a  medium  of  instruction  in  the
      primary schools.  He submitted that similarly the High Court was  not
      right in coming to the conclusion that the  right  to  establish  and
      administer an educational institution under Articles 19(1)(g) and  26
      of the Constitution will include the right  to  choose  a  medium  of
      instruction.  He submitted that in any case  if  the  State  takes  a
      policy decision that the  medium  of  instruction  for  the  children
      studying in classes I to IV will  be  their  mother  tongue,  such  a
      policy decision of the State Government will be within the regulatory
      powers of the State.  He cited the judgment of this Court in  Gujarat
      University & Anr. v. Shri Krishna Ranganath  Mudholkar  &  Ors.  [AIR
      1963 SC 703] in which a Constitution Bench of this  Court  has  taken
      the view that the State  Legislature  has  the  regulatory  power  to
      legislate on medium of instruction  in  institutions  of  primary  or
      secondary education.  He submitted that  under  Article  162  of  the
      Constitution, the State Government has executive powers  co-extensive
      with its legislative powers and therefore the Government order  dated
      29.04.1994 prescribing that the medium of instruction of all children
      studying in classes I to IV will be mother tongue was well within the
      powers of the State Government.  He argued that even if  it  is  held
      that children and  parents  have  a  right  to  choose  a  medium  of
      instruction for classes I to IV or that citizens who have established
      schools have a  fundamental  right  under  Article  19(1)(g)  of  the
      Constitution to choose the medium in which education will be imparted
      to the children studying in their schools, the State  could  restrict
      their right by virtue of its regulatory powers and prescribe  that  a
      medium of instruction for children studying in classes I to  IV  will
      be their mother tongue.

  13.   The learned Advocate General next submitted that the High Court was
      again not right in coming  to  the  conclusion  that  the  Government
      policy compelling children studying  in  schools  recognized  by  the
      Government to have primary education only in  mother  tongue  or  the
      regional language is violative of Article 30(1) of the  Constitution.
      He  submitted  that  so  long  as  the  State  permits  a  medium  of
      instruction to be the same as the language of the minority  community
      which has established the educational  institution,  the  fundamental
      rights under Article 29(1) and 30(1)  of  the  Constitution  are  not
      violated because the purport of  Articles  29(1)  and  30(1)  of  the
      Constitution is to promote the language of every community  including
      the language of a linguistic minority.  He cited State of  Bombay  v.
      Bombay  Education  Society  &  Ors.  [AIR  1954  SC  561]  wherein  a
      Constitution Bench of this Court has held that a minority group  such
      as the  Anglo-Indian  community,  which  is  based,  inter  alia,  on
      religion and language, has the  fundamental  right  to  conserve  its
      language, script and culture under Article 29(1) and has the right to
      establish and administer educational institutions of its choice under
      Article  30(1)  and,  therefore,  there  must  be  implicit  in  such
      fundamental  right,  the  right  to  impart  education  in  its   own
      institution to the children of its own community in its own language.
       He also cited D.A.V. College, etc. etc. v. State of  Punjab  &  Ors.
      [(1971) 2 SCC 269] wherein a Constitution Bench  of  this  Court  has
      held that the purpose and object of linguistic States is  to  provide
      greater facility for the development  of  the  people  of  that  area
      educationally, socially and culturally in the language of that region
      but while the State or the University has every right to provide  for
      the education of the majority in the regional medium, it  is  subject
      to  the  restrictions  contained  in  Articles  25  to  30   of   the
      Constitution and accordingly neither the  University  nor  the  State
      could impart education in a medium of instruction in a  language  and
      script which stifles the language and script of any  section  of  the
      citizens.  According to him, the  rights  under  Articles  29(1)  and
      30(1) of the Constitution are thus not affected by  the  order  dated
      29.04.1994 of the Government of Karnataka because it prescribes  that
      the students in classes I to IV will be  imparted  education  in  the
      medium of instruction of the mother tongue of the  children  and  the
      mother tongue of the children will be none other than the language of
      their linguistic community.

  14. The learned Advocate General further submitted that  this  Court  has
      held in Usha Mehta & Ors. v. State of Maharashtra &  Ors.  [(2004)  6
      SCC 264]  that  the  State  can  impose  reasonable  regulations  for
      protecting the larger interests of the State and the nation  even  in
      the case of minority  educational  institutions  enjoying  the  right
      under Article 30(1) of the Constitution and the “choice”  that  could
      be exercised by the minority community  in  establishing  educational
      institutions is subject to such reasonable regulations imposed by the
      State, but while imposing regulations, the State  shall  be  cautious
      not to destroy the minority character  of  institutions.   He  argued
      that the Government Order dated  29.04.1994  by  providing  that  the
      medium of instruction of children studying in  classes  I  to  IV  in
      primary schools will be the mother tongue of the children does not in
      any way destroy the minority character of the institutions  protected
      under Article 30(1) of the Constitution.

  15. The learned Advocate General submitted that the High Court has relied
      on the judgment of this Court in T.M.A.  Pai  Foundation  &  Ors.  v.
      State of Karnataka & Ors.  [(2002)  8  SCC  481]  in  coming  to  the
      conclusion that the Government order dated  29.04.1994  violates  the
      fundamental  rights  under  Articles  19(1)(g)  and  30(1)   of   the
      Constitution.  He submitted that the High Court has not noticed  some
      of the paragraphs of the majority judgment in T.M.A. Pai Foundation &
      Ors.  v.  State  of  Karnataka  &  Ors.  (supra)  in  coming  to  its
      conclusions.  He referred  to  the  paragraph  54  of  the  aforesaid
      majority judgment in which  it  has  been  held  that  the  right  to
      establish and maintain  institutions  for  religious  and  charitable
      purposes under Articles 19(1)(g) and 26(a)  of  the  Constitution  is
      subject to regulations made by the State for maintaining  educational
      standards etc.  He referred to paragraph 115 of the majority judgment
      in which it has also been held that the right of  the  religious  and
      linguistic  minorities  to  establish  and   administer   educational
      institutions  of  their  choice  is  not  absolute  and   that   such
      institutions have to follow statutory measures regulating educational
      standards etc.  He submitted that in paragraph 122  of  the  majority
      judgment in T.M.A. Pai Foundation & Ors. v. State of Karnataka & Ors.
      (supra), however, it has been held that such regulations must satisfy
      the test of reasonableness.  He submitted that the  Government  Order
      dated 29.04.1994 prescribing that the medium of instruction  for  all
      children studying in classes I to IV in primary schools in the  State
      of Karnataka would  be  the  mother  tongue  of  the  children  is  a
      regulatory measure and satisfies the test of reasonableness.

  16.  The learned Advocate General finally submitted that Article  21A  of
      the Constitution is titled ‘Right to Education’ and provides that the
      State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children  of
      the age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may,  by
      law, determine.   He  argued  that  Article  21A  is  thus  the  sole
      depository of the right to education and  it  is  not  open  for  any
      citizen to invoke any other fundamental right like  Article  19(1)(a)
      or Article 21 to contend that he has a right  to  be  educated  in  a
      medium of instruction of his choice.  He  submitted  that  Parliament
      has made the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education  Act,
      2009 under Article 21A of the Constitution, and Section  29(2)(f)  of
      this Act provides that the medium of instruction  shall,  as  far  as
      practicable, be the child’s mother tongue.   He  submitted  that  the
      High Court was, therefore, not right in coming to the conclusion that
      the right to choose a medium of instruction is implicit in the  right
      to education under Articles 21 and 21A of the Constitution.

Contentions on behalf of the respondents who support  the  Government  order
dated 29.04.1994:


  17.  Mr. K. N. Bhat, learned senior counsel appearing for respondent nos.
      2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 15, 17 and 18 in Civil Appeal No.5166 of 2013,
      submitted that mother tongue is the language in which  the  child  is
      the most comfortable.  He  cited  Usha  Mehta  &  Ors.  v.  State  of
      Maharashtra & Ors. (supra) in which a three-Judge Bench of this Court
      clearly held that the State can impose reasonable regulations in  the
      larger interests of the State and the  nation  even  on  institutions
      established by religious  and  linguistic  minorities  and  protected
      under Article 30(1) of the Constitution and that the word ‘choice’ in
      Article 30 of the Constitution is subject to such regulation  imposed
      by the State.  He submitted that the only caution that the State  has
      to exercise  is  that  by  imposing  such  regulations  the  minority
      character of the institutions is not destroyed.   He  submitted  that
      accordingly if the  State  Government  has  issued  the  order  dated
      29.04.1994 under Article 162 of the Constitution prescribing that the
      medium of instruction for all children studying in classes  I  to  IV
      would be mother tongue, such an order being regulatory in nature  and
      not affecting the minority character of the institutions, does not in
      any way affect the  right  guaranteed  under  Article  30(1)  of  the
      Constitution.  He submitted that the conclusion  of  the  High  Court
      that the Government Order dated  29.04.1994  insofar  as  it  compels
      minority institutions to adopt medium  of  instruction  for  students
      studying in classes I to IV as mother tongue is  violative  of  right
      under Article 30 of the Constitution, therefore, is not correct.

  18.  Mr. Bhat next submitted that Article 19(1)(a)  of  the  Constitution
      guarantees the right to freedom  of  speech  and  expression  to  all
      citizens and the only restrictions that the State can impose on  this
      right are those mentioned in Article 19(2) of the  Constitution.   He
      submitted that a reading of Article 19(2) of  the  Constitution  will
      show that it empowers the  State  to  make  law  imposing  reasonable
      restrictions in the interest of  the  sovereignty  and  integrity  of
      India, the security of the  State,  friendly  relation  with  foreign
      States, public order, decency or morality or in relation to  contempt
      of court, defamation or  incitement  to  an  offence,  but  does  not
      empower the State to impose reasonable restrictions in  the  interest
      of general public.  He vehemently argued that if the right to freedom
      of speech and expression is interpreted so as to include the right to
      choose the medium of instruction, the State will  have  no  power  to
      impose any reasonable restrictions in the  larger  interests  of  the
      State or the nation on this right to choose the medium of instruction
      and such an interpretation  should  be  avoided  by  the  Court.   He
      submitted that the rationale of the right to freedom  of  speech  and
      expression in Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution and the  power  of
      the State to impose reasonable restrictions under  Article  19(2)  of
      the Constitution in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of
      India, the security of the State,  friendly  relations  with  foreign
      States, public order, decency or morality or in relation to  contempt
      of court, defamation or incitement to an offence, have been explained
      in the judgments of P.B. Sawant, J. and  B.P.  Jeevan  Reddy,  J.  in
      Secretary, Ministry of  Information  &  Broadcasting,  Government  of
      India & Ors. v. Cricket Association of Bengal & Ors.  [(1995)  2  SCC
      161].  He submitted that considering these serious consequences which
      may arise if we take the view that the right to freedom of speech and
      expression includes the right to choose  medium  of  instruction,  we
      should leave this question open if it is not necessary to  decide  it
      in this case.

Contentions on behalf of the respondents who challenge the Government  order
dated 29.04.1994:


  19.  Mr. Mohan V. Katarki, learned counsel appearing for respondent  no.1
      in Civil Appeal No.5166 of 2013, submitted that under Article 350A of
      the Constitution, the State has no power to  compel  any  educational
      institution to adopt mother tongue as the medium of instruction.   He
      submitted that Article 350A of the Constitution only casts a duty  on
      every State and every local authority within  the  State  to  provide
      adequate facilities for instruction in  the  mother-  tongue  at  the
      primary stage  of  education  to  children  belonging  to  linguistic
      minority groups, and does not empower the  State  to  interfere  with
      right to freedom of speech and expression and the right to  establish
      and administer schools under Article 19 of the Constitution.

  20.  Mr. Katarki submitted that the reliance placed by the State  on  the
      decision of this Court in English Medium Students Parents Association
      v. State of Karnataka & Ors. (supra) in which the earlier  Government
      Order dated 22.06.1989  prescribing mother tongue as  the  medium  of
      instruction was upheld is misplaced as the reason given by this Court
      in the aforesaid decision for upholding the order dated 22.06.1989 of
      the State Government is that the order did not  have  an  element  of
      compulsion.  He submitted that the Government order dated 29.04.1994,
      on the other hand, makes it compulsory for all Government  recognized
      schools including private unaided schools to adopt mother  tongue  of
      the child as the medium of instruction in classes I to IV.

  21.  Mr. Katarki submitted that this Court has  held  in  Unni  Krishnan,
      J.P. & Ors. v. State of Andhra Pradesh & Ors. [(1993) 1 SCC 645] that
      the right to education of a child up to the age of 14 years  is  part
      of the right to life  under  Article  21  of  the  Constitution  and,
      therefore, the High Court was right in coming to the conclusion  that
      the right to be educated in the medium of instruction of  the  choice
      of the child is also part of  the  right  under  Article  21  of  the
      Constitution. He submitted that similarly the  right  to  freedom  of
      speech and expression will include the right to choose the medium  of
      instruction in which the child is to be educated and the  High  Court
      was, therefore, right in coming to the conclusion that  compelling  a
      child to be educated through a particular medium of instruction, such
      as his mother  tongue,  is  violative  of  his  right  under  Article
      19(1)(a) of the Constitution.

  22.  Mr. Katarki next submitted that Article 30(1)  of  the  Constitution
      confers on religious and linguistic minority communities the right to
      establish and administer educational institutions of their choice and
      the word “choice” clearly indicates that the State cannot  compel  an
      institution established by a  religious  or  linguistic  minority  to
      impart education in their institution to the children of classes I to
      IV only in the mother tongue of the children.   In  support  of  this
      submission, he relied on the decisions of this Court  in  In  re  The
      Kerala Education Bill, 1957 [1959 SCR 995], Rev. Father W.  Proost  &
      Ors. v. The State of Bihar & Ors. [1969 (2) SCR 73], D.A.V.  College,
      etc. etc.  v.  State  of  Punjab  &  Ors.  (supra),  D.A.V.  College,
      Bhatinda, etc. v.  The  State  of  Punjab  &  Ors.  (supra)  and  The
      Ahmedabad St. Xavier’s College Society & Anr. v. State of  Gujarat  &
      Anr. [(1974) 1 SCC 717].  He  submitted  that  even  the  educational
      institutions which have  not  been  established  by  a  religious  or
      linguistic minority have a right to freedom under  Articles  19(1)(g)
      and 26 of the Constitution and in exercise of this right, they have a
      right to choose the medium of  instruction  in  which  they  want  to
      impart education to their students.  In support of this  proposition,
      he relied on the majority judgment in T.M.A. Pai Foundation & Ors. v.
      State of Karnataka & Ors. (supra) and P.A. Inamdar & Ors. v. State of
      Maharashtra & Ors. [(2005) 6 SCC 537].

  23.  Mr. G.R. Mohan, appearing for respondent  Nos.10  and  11  in  Civil
      Appeal No.5186 of 2013, while adopting the aforesaid  submissions  of
      Mr. Katarki, further submitted that Article 26(3)  of  the  Universal
      Declaration of Human Rights adopted by  the  members  of  the  United
      Nations including India provides that parents have a prior  right  to
      choose the kind of education that shall be given to  their  children.
      Mr. K.V.  Dhananjay,  learned  counsel  appearing  for  some  of  the
      respondents, also adopted the submissions of Mr. Katarki.

Our answers to the five questions referred to us:

  24. Question No.(i): “What does Mother tongue mean? If it referred to  as
      the language in which the child is comfortable with,  then  who  will
      decide the same?”.

As this question is referred to us in context of our Constitution,  we  have
to answer this question by interpreting the expression  “mother  tongue”  as
used in the Constitution.  We must not forget that the Constitution  is  not
just an ordinary Act which the court has to interpret  for  the  purpose  of
declaring the law, but is a mechanism under which the laws are to  be  made.
As Kania C.J. observed in A.K. Gopalan v. State of Madras (AIR 1950 SC 27):
           “Although we are to interpret words of the Constitution  on  the
           same principles of interpretation as we apply  to  any  ordinary
           law, these very principles of interpretation compel us  to  take
           into account the nature  and  scope  of  the  Act  that  we  are
           interpreting  –  to  remember  that  it  is  a  Constitution,  a
           mechanism under which laws are to be made and  not  a  mere  Act
           which declares what the law is to be.”



The only  provision  in  the  Constitution  which  contains  the  expression
“mother tongue” is Article 350A. We must therefore  understand  why  Article
350A  was  inserted  in  the   Constitution.    The   State   Reorganization
Commission, 1955,  made  recommendations  for  reorganizing  the  States  on
linguistic basis.  In Part  IV  of  its  report,  the  State  Reorganization
Commission, 1955, has  devoted  Chapter  I  to  “safeguards  for  linguistic
groups” and has recommended that the linguistic  minorities  of  the  States
should have the right to instruction in mother tongue.  In support  of  this
recommendation, the State Reorganization Commission,  1955,  has  relied  on
the resolution adopted at the  Provincial  Education  Ministers’  Conference
held in August, 1949, which had been approved by  the  Government  of  India
and which had  served  as  a  guide  to  the  State  Governments  in  making
arrangements for the education of the  school-going  children  whose  mother
tongue  is  different  from  the  regional  language.   This  resolution  is
extracted hereinbelow:
           “The medium of instruction and examination in the  junior  basic
           stage must be the mother tongue of  the  child  and,  where  the
           mother tongue is different from the regional or State  language,
           arrangements must be made for instruction in the  mother  tongue
           by appointing at least one teacher, provided there are not  less
           than 40 pupils speaking the language in the whole school  or  10
           such pupils in a class.  The mother tongue will be the  language
           declared by the parent or guardian to be the mother tongue.  The
           regional or State language,  where  it  is  different  from  the
           mother tongue, should be introduced not earlier than  Class  III
           and not later than the end of the junior basic stage.  In  order
           to facilitate the switching-over to  the  regional  language  as
           medium in the secondary stage,  children  should  be  given  the
           option of answering questions in their mother  tongue,  for  the
           first two years after the junior basic stage.”


From  the  aforesaid  resolution  adopted  at   the   Provincial   Education
Ministers’ Conference held in August, 1949, and from the recommendations  of
the  State  Reorganization  Commission,  1955,  it  is  clear   that   while
recommending language as the basis  for  reorganization  of  the  States  in
India, the Commission wanted to ensure that the children of  the  linguistic
minority which had a language different from the language of the State  were
imparted education at the primary stage in  their  mother  tongue.   In  the
resolution adopted at the Provincial Education  Ministers’  Conference  held
in August, 1949, extracted above, it was  also  clarified  that  the  mother
tongue will be the language declared by the parent or  guardian  to  be  the
mother tongue.

  25. After the recommendations of  the  State  Reorganization  Commission,
      1955,  Article  350A  was  inserted  in  the  Constitution   by   the
      Constitution (VIIth Amendment) Act.  Article 350A reads:


           “It shall be the endeavour of every State  and  of  every  local
           authority within the State to provide  adequate  facilities  for
           instruction in  the  mother  tongue  at  the  primary  stage  of
           education to children belonging to linguistic  minority  groups;
           and the President may issue such directions to any State  as  he
           considers necessary or proper for securing the provision of such
           facilities.”



A mere reading of Article 350A of the Constitution would show that it  casts
a duty on every State and every local authority within the State to  provide
adequate facilities for instruction in the  mother  tongue  at  the  primary
stage of education to children  belonging  to  linguistic  minority  groups.
Hence, the expression ‘mother tongue’  in  Article  350A  means  the  mother
tongue of the linguistic minority group  in  a  particular  State  and  this
would obviously mean the language of  that  particular  linguistic  minority
group.

  26. Mother tongue in the context of the  Constitution  would,  therefore,
      mean the language of the linguistic minority in a State and it is the
      parent or the guardian of the child who will decide what  the  mother
      tongue of child is.  The Constitution nowhere  provides  that  mother
      tongue is the language which the child is comfortable with, and while
      this meaning of “mother tongue” may be  a  possible  meaning  of  the
      ‘expression’, this is not the meaning of  mother  tongue  in  Article
      350A  of  the  Constitution  or  in  any  other  provision   of   the
      Constitution and hence we cannot either expand the power of the State
      or restrict a fundamental right by saying that mother tongue  is  the
      language which the child is comfortable with.  We accordingly  answer
      question no.(i).

  27. Question No.(ii): Whether a student or a parent or a  citizen  has  a
      right to choose a medium of instruction at primary stage ?

The High Court has held that the parent or a child has a  right  to  choose
medium of instruction in primary schools as part of the right to freedom of
speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the  Constitution  and  the
right to choose the medium of instruction is also implicit in the right  to
education under Articles 21 and 21A of the Constitution.  We have to decide
whether these conclusions of the High Court that the parent or a child  has
a right to choose the medium of instruction in primary schools as  part  of
the right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the
Constitution and also has a right to choose the medium  of  instruction  in
primary schools under Articles 21 and 21A of the Constitution are correct.

  28. Article 19 of the Constitution is titled “Right to  Freedom”  and  it
      states that all citizens shall have the right—
           (a)  to freedom of speech and expression;
           (b) to assemble peaceably and without    arms;
           (c)  to form associations or unions;
           (d) to move freely throughout the territory of India;
           (e) to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India;
           (f)  x x x
           (g) to practise any profession, or to carry on  any  occupation,
              trade or business.




The word ‘freedom’ in Article  19  of  the  Constitution  means  absence  of
control by the State and Article 19(1) provides  that  the  State  will  not
impose controls on the citizen  in  the  matters  mentioned  in  sub-clauses
(a),(b),(c),(d),(e) and (g) of  Article  19(1)  except  those  specified  in
clauses 2 to  6  of  Articles  19  of  the  Constitution.   In  all  matters
specified in clause (1)  of  Article  19,  the  citizen  has  therefore  the
liberty to choose, subject only to restrictions in clauses  (2)  to  (6)  of
Article 19.

  29.   One of the reasons for giving  this  liberty  to  the  citizens  is
      contained in the famous essay ‘On Liberty’ by John Stuart  Mill.   He
      writes:

         “Secondly, the principle requires liberty of tastes  and  pursuits;
         of framing the plan of our life to suit our own character; of doing
         as we like, subject to such consequences  as  may  follow:  without
         impediment from our fellow creatures, so long as what  we  do  does
         not harm them, even though they should think our  conduct  foolish,
         perverse, or wrong.”

According to Mill, therefore, each individual must  in  certain  matters  be
left alone to frame the plan of his life to suit his own  character  and  to
do as he likes without  any  impediment  and  even  if  he  decides  to  act
foolishly in such matters, society or on its behalf  the  State  should  not
interfere with the choice of the individual.  Harold J. Laski, who  was  not
prepared  to  accept  Mill’s  attempts  to  define  the  limits   of   State
interference, was also of the opinion that in some  matters  the  individual
must have the freedom of choice.  To quote a  passage  from  “A  Grammar  of
Politics” by Harold J. Laski:


         “My freedoms are avenues of choice through which I may, as  I  deem
         fit, construct for myself  my  own  course  of  conduct.   And  the
         freedoms I must possess to enjoy a general liberty are those which,
         in their sum, will constitute the path through which my  best  self
         is capable of attainment.  That is not to say it will be  attained.
         It is to say only that I alone can make that best  self,  and  that
         without those freedoms I have not the means of  manufacture  at  my
         disposal.”



Freedom or choice in the matter  of  speech  and  expression  is  absolutely
necessary for an individual to develop his personality in his  own  way  and
this is one reason, if not the only reason, why under  Article  19(1)(a)  of
the Constitution every citizen has been guaranteed the right to  freedom  of
speech and expression.

  30. This Court has from time to time expanded the scope of the  right  to
      freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of
      the  Constitution   by   consistently   adopting   a   very   liberal
      interpretation.  In Romesh Thappar v. The State of Madras  [AIR  1950
      SC 124], this Court  held  that  freedom  of  speech  and  expression
      includes freedom of propagation of ideas which is ensured by  freedom
      of circulation and in Sakal Papers (P) Ltd. v. Union  of  India  [AIR
      1962 SC 305], this Court held that freedom of speech  and  expression
      carries with it the right  to  publish  and  circulate  one’s  ideas,
      opinions and views.  In Bennett Coleman  &  Co.  v.  Union  of  India
      [(1972)2 SCC 788], this Court also held that  the  freedom  of  press
      means right of citizens to speak, publish and express their views  as
      well as right of people to read and  in  Odyssey  Communications  (P)
      Ltd. v. Lokvidayan Sanghatana [(1988) 3  SCC  410],  this  Court  has
      further held that freedom of speech and expression includes the right
      of citizens to exhibit films on Doordarshan.

  31. This Court also went into the question whether receiving  information
      or education by a citizen was part of his right to freedom of  speech
      and expression in Secretary, Ministry of Information &  Broadcasting,
      Government of India & Ors. v. Cricket Association of  Bengal  &  Ors.
      (supra) and held that the right to freedom of speech  and  expression
      in Article 19(1(a) of the Constitution  will  not  only  include  the
      right  to  impart  information  but  also  the   right   to   receive
      information.  In his opinion, P.B. Sawant, J. observed that the right
      to freedom of speech  and  expression  also  includes  the  right  to
      educate, to inform  and  to  entertain  and  also  the  right  to  be
      educated,  informed  and  entertained.   In  line  with  the  earlier
      decisions of this Court, we are of the view that the right to freedom
      of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) of  the  Constitution
      includes the freedom of a child to be educated at the  primary  stage
      of school in a language of the choice of  the  child  and  the  State
      cannot impose controls on such choice just because it thinks that  it
      will be more beneficial for the child if he is taught in the  primary
      stage of school in his mother tongue.  We,  therefore,  hold  that  a
      child or on his behalf his parent or guardian, has a right to freedom
      of choice with regard to the medium of instruction in which he  would
      like to be educated at the primary stage in school.  We cannot accept
      the submission of the learned Advocate  General  that  the  right  to
      freedom  of  speech  and  expression  in  Article  19(1)(a)  of   the
      Constitution does not include the right of a child or on  his  behalf
      his parent or guardian, to choose the medium of  instruction  at  the
      stage of primary school.

  32. We cannot also accept the submission of Mr. Bhat that if the right to
      freedom  of  speech  and  expression  in  Article  19(1)(a)  of   the
      Constitution is held to include the right to  choose  the  medium  of
      instruction at the stage of primary school, then the State will  have
      no  power  under  clause  (2)  of  Article  19  to   put   reasonable
      restrictions on the right to freedom of speech and expression  except
      in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India,  the  security
      of the State, friendly relations with foreign States,  public  order,
      decency or morality or in relation to contempt of  court,  defamation
      or incitement to an offence.  In our view,  the  Constitution  makers
      did not intend to empower the State to impose reasonable restrictions
      on the valuable right to  freedom  of  speech  and  expression  of  a
      citizen except for the purposes mentioned in clause (2) of Article 19
      of  the  Constitution  because  they  thought  that  imposing   other
      restrictions on the freedom of speech and expression will be  harmful
      to the development of the personality of the individual  citizen  and
      will not be in the larger interest of the nation.  In  the  words  of
      Pantanjali Shastri speaking for the majority of the judges in  Romesh
      Thappar v. The State of Madras (supra):

           “Thus, very  narrow  and  stringent  limits  have  been  set  to
           permissible legislative abridgment of the right of  free  speech
           and expression and this was doubtless  due  to  the  realisation
           that freedom of speech and of the press lay at the foundation of
           all  democratic  organisations,  for  without   free   political
           discussion no public education,  so  essential  for  the  proper
           functioning of the processes of popular Government, is possible.
            A freedom of such amplitude might involve risks of abuse.   But
           the framers of the Constitution may  well  have  reflected  with
           Madison who was ‘the leading spirit in the  preparation  of  the
           First Amendment of the Federal Constitution’, that “it is better
           leave a few of its noxious branches to  their  luxuriant  growth
           than, by pruning them  away,  to  injure  the  vigour  of  those
           yielding the proper fruits” (Quoted in Near v.  Minnesotta,  283
           U.S. 607 at 717-8).”



Therefore, once we come to the conclusion that the  freedom  of  speech  and
expression will include the right of a child to be educated  in  the  medium
of instruction of his choice, the only  permissible  limits  of  this  right
will be those covered under clause (2) of Article  19  of  the  Constitution
and we cannot exclude such right of a child from the  right  to  freedom  of
speech and expression only for the reason that the State will have no  power
to impose reasonable restrictions on this right of the  child  for  purposes
other than those mentioned in Article 19(2) of the Constitution.

  33.  We may now consider whether the view taken by the High Court in  the
      impugned judgment that the right to choose a medium of instruction is
      implicit in the right to education under Articles 21 and 21A  of  the
      Constitution is correct.  Article 21  of  the  Constitution  provides
      that no person shall be deprived of  his  life  or  personal  liberty
      except according to procedure established by law.  In Unni  Krishnan,
      J.P. & Ors. v. State of Andhra Pradesh & Ors. (supra), a Constitution
      Bench  of  this  Court  has  held  that  under  Article  21  of   the
      Constitution every child/citizen of this country has a right to  free
      education until he completes the age of 14 years.  Article 21A of the
      Constitution  provides  that  the  State  shall  provide   free   and
      compulsory education to all children of the age of  six  to  fourteen
      years in such manner as the State  may,  by  law,  determine.   Under
      Articles 21 and 21A of the Constitution, therefore,  a  child  has  a
      fundamental right to claim from the State free education upto the age
      of 14 years.  The language of Article 21A of the Constitution further
      makes it clear that such free education which a child can claim  from
      the State will be in a manner as the State may,  by  law,  determine.
      If, therefore, the State determines by law that in schools where free
      education is provided under Article  21A  of  the  Constitution,  the
      medium of instruction would  be  in  the  mother  tongue  or  in  any
      language, the child cannot claim as of  right  under  Article  21  or
      Article 21A of the Constitution that he has a  right  to  choose  the
      medium of instruction in which the education should  be  imparted  to
      him by the State.  The High Court, in our considered opinion, was not
      right in coming to the conclusion that the right to choose  a  medium
      of instruction is implicit in the right to education  under  Articles
      21 and 21A of the Constitution.   Our  answer  to  Question  No.(ii),
      therefore, is that a child, and on his behalf his parent or guardian,
      has the right to choose the medium  of  instruction  at  the  primary
      school stage under Article 19(1)(a)  and  not  under  Article  21  or
      Article 21A of the Constitution.

  34.  Question No.(iii): Does the imposition of mother tongue in  any  way
      affect the fundamental rights under Article 14, 19, 29 and 30 of  the
      Constitution?

As the High Court has not come to the conclusion in  the  impugned  judgment
that imposition of mother tongue in any way affects  the  fundamental  right
under Article 14 of the Constitution, it is not necessary for us  to  decide
this question. We will have to decide whether imposition  of  mother  tongue
in any way affects the fundamental rights under Articles 19, 29  and  30  of
the Constitution.

  35. Articles 29(1) and 30(1) of the Constitution are quoted hereinbelow:


      29. Protection of interests of minorities:- (1)  Any  section  of  the
      citizens residing in the territory of India or any part thereof having
      a distinct language, script or culture of its own shall have the right
      to conserve the same.


      30.Right  of  minorities  to  establish  and  administer   educational
      institutions:- (1)  All  minorities,  whether  based  on  religion  or
      language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational
      institutions of their choice.”



A reading of clause (1) of Article 29 of the Constitution provides that  any
section of the citizens residing in the  territory  of  India  or  any  part
thereof having a distinct language, script or culture of its own shall  have
the right to conserve the same and clause (1) of Article  30  provides  that
all minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the  right
to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.

  36. In D.A.V. College, Bhatinda, etc. v.  The  State  of  Punjab  &  Ors.
      (supra), the Punjabi  University  in  exercise  of  its  power  under
      Section 4(2) of Punjabi University Act (35 of 1961), made Punjabi the
      sole medium of instruction and examination in all colleges affiliated
      under Punjabi University.  It was contended inter  alia  before  this
      Court that prescription of such medium of instruction and examination
      in a language which is not the mother tongue of  the  minority  which
      has established the  educational  institution  is  violative  of  the
      rights conferred under clause (1) of Article 29  and  clause  (1)  of
      Article 30 of the Constitution and the  Constitution  Bench  of  this
      Court has upheld this contention in the following words:


           “The  right  of  the  minorities  to  establish  and  administer
           educational institutions of their choice would include the right
           to have a choice of the medium of instruction also  which  would
           be the result of reading Article 30(1) with Article 29(1).”



Thus, a Constitution Bench of this Court in D.A.V. College,  Bhatinda,  etc.
v. The State of Punjab & Ors. (supra) has already held that minorities  have
a right to establish  and  administer  educational  institutions  of  ‘their
choice’,  and therefore they have the choice of  medium  of  instruction  in
which education  will  be  imparted  in  the  institutions  established  and
administered by them.

  37. The contention of the learned Advocate General, however, is that  the
      aforesaid decision and  other  decisions  of  this  Court  have  been
      rendered in cases where the State imposed a medium of instruction  in
      a language different from the language of the minority community, but
      if the State prescribes the medium of instruction to  be  the  mother
      tongue of the child, which is the language of the minority community,
      there is no violation of the right of the linguistic  minority  under
      Article 30(1) of the Constitution.  We do not find any merit in  this
      contention because this Court has also held that the “choice” of  the
      minority community  under  Article  30(1)  need  not  be  limited  to
      imparting education in the language of the minority community.  In re
      The Kerala Education Bill, 1957 (supra), S.R. Das,  CJ,  writing  the
      majority opinion of a seven Judge Bench of this Court, held:


           “23. Having disposed of the minor point referred  to  above,  we
           now take up the main argument  advanced  before  us  as  to  the
           content of Art. 30(1).  The first point  to  note  is  that  the
           article gives certain rights not only  to  religious  minorities
           but also to linguistic minorities.  In the next place, the right
           conferred  on  such  minorities  is  to  establish   educational
           institutions of their choice.  It does not say  that  minorities
           based on religion should establish educational institutions  for
           teaching religion only, or  that  linguistic  minorities  should
           have  the  right  to  establish  educational  institutions   for
           teaching their language only.  What the article says  and  means
           is that the religious and the linguistic minorities should  have
           the right to establish educational institutions of their choice.
            There is no limitation placed on the subjects to be  taught  in
           such  educational  institutions.   As   such   minorities   will
           ordinarily desire that  their  children  should  be  brought  up
           properly and efficiently and be eligible for  higher  university
           education and go out in  the  world  fully  equipped  with  such
           intellectual attainments as will make them fit for entering  the
           public services, educational institutions of their  choice  will
           necessarily  include  institutions  imparting  general   secular
           education also.  In other words, the article leaves it to  their
           choice to establish such educational institutions as will  serve
           both purposes, namely, the purpose of conserving their religion,
           language or culture, and also the purpose of giving a  thorough,
           good general education to their children.”



  38. We may now examine whether  an  unaided  non-minority  school  has  a
      similar right  to  choose  a  medium  of  instruction  under  Article
      19(1)(g) of the Constitution at  the  primary  school  stage.   Under
      Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution, a  citizen  has  the  right  to
      practise any profession, or to carry  on  any  occupation,  trade  or
      business.  In T.M.A. Pai Foundation & Ors. v. State  of  Karnataka  &
      Ors. (supra), Kirpal C.J. writing the majority  judgment  interpreted
      this right under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution to include  the
      right to establish and run educational institutions.  In paragraph 25
      of the aforesaid judgment in T.M.A. Pai Foundation & Ors. v. State of
      Karnataka & Ors. (supra), the majority judgment held:

           “The establishment and running  of  an  educational  institution
           where a large number of persons  are  employed  as  teachers  or
           administrative staff, and an activity is carried on that results
           in the imparting of knowledge to the students, must  necessarily
           be regarded as an occupation, even if there  is  no  element  of
           profit  generation.   It  is  difficult   to   comprehend   that
           education,  per  se,  will  not  fall  under  any  of  the  four
           expressions in  Article  19(1)(g).   “Occupation”  would  be  an
           activity of a person undertaken as a means of  livelihood  or  a
           mission in life. ”



Thus, the word “occupation” in Article  19(1)(g)  of  the  Constitution  was
interpreted by the majority judgment of this Court in T.M.A. Pai  Foundation
& Ors. v. State of Karnataka & Ors. (supra), to include the  activity  which
results in imparting of knowledge to  the  students  even  if  there  is  no
element of profit generation in  such  activity.   However,  unlike  Article
30(1)  of  the  Constitution,  Article  19(1)(g)  does  not  have  the  word
“choice”.  The absence of the word  “choice”,  in  our  considered  opinion,
does not make a material difference because we find that Article 19  of  the
Constitution is titled “Right to Freedom” and the word “freedom” along  with
the word “any” before the word  “occupation”  in  Article  19(1)(g)  of  the
Constitution would mean that  the  right  to  establish  and  administer  an
educational institution will include the right of a citizen to  establish  a
school for imparting education in a medium of  instruction  of  his  choice.
If a citizen thinks that he should establish a school and in such a  school,
the medium of instruction should  be  a  particular  language  then  he  can
exercise such right subject to the reasonable regulations made by the  State
under Article 19(6) of the Constitution.  We  are  thus  of  the  considered
opinion that a private unaided school which is not  a  minority  school  and
which does not enjoy the protection of  Articles  29(1)  and  30(1)  of  the
Constitution can choose a medium of instruction for imparting  education  to
the children in the school.

  39.  It is, however, well settled that all educational  institutions  can
      be subject to regulations by the State for inter alia maintenance  of
      proper academic standards.  While discussing the right  to  establish
      and administer an educational institution under Article  19(1)(g)  of
      the Constitution, Kirpal C.J., speaking for the majority of Judges in
      T.M.A. Pai Foundation & Ors. v. State of Karnataka  &  Ors.  (supra),
      held:


           “The right  to  establish  an  educational  institution  can  be
           regulated; but such regulatory measures must, in general, be  to
           ensure the maintenance of proper academic standards,  atmosphere
           and  infrastructure  (including   qualified   staff)   and   the
           prevention  of  maladministration  by   those   in   charge   of
           management……”



Again, in the majority judgment in T.M.A. Pai Foundation & Ors. v. State  of
Karnataka & Ors. (supra), Kirpal  C.J.  while  discussing  the  right  of  a
minority educational  institution  protected  under  Article  30(1)  of  the
Constitution;


           “……It  was  permissible  for  the   authorities   to   prescribe
           regulations, which must be  complied  with,  before  a  minority
           institution could seek or retain  affiliation  and  recognition.
           But it  was  also  stated  that  the  regulations  made  by  the
           authority should not impinge upon the minority character of  the
           institution.  Therefore, a balance has to be  kept  between  the
           two objectives – that of ensuring the standard of excellence  of
           the institution,  and  that  of  preserving  the  right  of  the
           minorities  to  establish  and  administer   their   educational
           institutions......”



Thus, whether it is a private unaided institution enjoying the  right  under
Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution or whether it is a private  institution
enjoying the special protection of  a  minority  institution  under  Article
30(1) of the Constitution, the State  has  the  power  to  adopt  regulatory
measures which must satisfy  the  test  of  reasonableness.   Moreover,  the
State may exercise this regulatory power  either  by  making  a  law  or  by
issuing an executive order.

  40.  The learned Advocate General for the State of  Karnataka  relied  on
      the judgment of this Court in  Gujarat  University  &  Anr.  v.  Shri
      Krishna Ranganath Mudholkar & Ors. (supra) to submit that this  power
      to prescribe regulations for maintaining the standards  of  education
      would include the power to prescribe the medium of  instruction.   We
      quote the relevant portion of the decision of the Constitution  Bench
      of this Court in Gujarat University & Anr. v. Shri Krishna  Ranganath
      Mudholkar & Ors. (supra) on which he has placed reliance:


           “23.…..The power to legislate in respect of primary or secondary
           education is exclusively vested in the States by item  No.II  of
           List II, and power to legislate  on  medium  of  instruction  in
           institutions of primary or secondary  education  must  therefore
           rest with the State Legislatures.  Power to legislate in respect
           of medium of instruction is, however, not  distinct  legislative
           head; it resides with the State Legislatures in which the  power
           to legislate on education is vested, unless it is taken away  by
           necessary intendment to the contrary.  Under items 63 to 65  the
           power to legislate in respect of medium  of  instruction  having
           regard to the width of those items, must be deemed  to  vest  in
           the  Union.   Power  to  legislate  in  respect  of  medium   of
           instruction, in so far it has a direct bearing and  impact  upon
           the legislative  head  of  co-ordination  and  determination  of
           standards in institutions of higher education  or  research  and
           scientific and technical institutions, must also  be  deemed  by
           item 66 List I to be vested in the Union.”

From the aforesaid quotation, we find that the Constitution Bench  has  held
that under the scheme of distribution  of  legislative  powers  between  the
States and the Union, the power  to  legislate  in  respect  of  primary  or
secondary education is exclusively vested in  the  States  and  has  further
held that in exercise of this power the State can prescribe  the  medium  of
instruction.  The Constitution Bench, however, has not held that this  power
of the State to prescribe the medium of instruction in primary or  secondary
schools can be exercised in contravention of  the  rights  guaranteed  under
Article 19(1)(a) and 19(1)(g) of the Constitution.  The  Constitution  Bench
has only held that if the medium of instruction  has  a  direct  bearing  or
impact  on  the  determination  of  standards  in  institutions  of   higher
education, the legislative power can be exercised by the Union to  prescribe
a medium of instruction.  For example, prescribing English as  a  medium  of
instruction in subjects of higher education for  which  only  English  books
are available and which can only be properly taught in English  may  have  a
direct bearing and impact on the determination of  standards  of  education.
Prescribing the medium of instruction in schools to be mother tongue in  the
primary school stage in classes I to IV has, however, no direct bearing  and
impact on the determination of standards of education, and will  affect  the
fundamental  rights  under   Articles   19(1)(a)   and   19(1)(g)   of   the
Constitution.

  41. We may now consider the decision of the Division Bench of this  Court
      in English Medium Students Parents Association v. State of  Karnataka
      & Ors. (supra) on which reliance has been  placed  by  the  State  of
      Karnataka.  In paragraph 20 at page 560 of the aforesaid decision  as
      reported in the SCC, this Court has held that all educational experts
      are uniformly of the opinion that pupils should begin their schooling
      through the medium of their mother tongue and  the  reason  for  this
      opinion is that if the tender minds of the children are subject to an
      alien medium, the learning process becomes unnatural and  inflicts  a
      cruel strain on the children which makes the entire learning  process
      mechanical, artificial and torturous but if the  basic  knowledge  is
      imparted through mother tongue, the  young  child  will  be  able  to
      garner knowledge  easily.   In  paragraph  17  at  page  559  of  the
      aforesaid judgment, the Division Bench of this Court has  also  given
      the reasons why it did not find the impugned Government order  to  be
      ultra vires Articles 14, 29(1) and 30(1) of the Constitution.   These
      reasons are quoted hereinbelow:
           “16. In view of the liberty given to the State of Karnataka  the
           present GO bearing No.87 PROU SE BHA 88,  Bangalore  dated  June
           19, 1989 (quoted above) has come to be  passed.   A  corrigendum
           also came to be issue on June 22, 1989 which reads as under:


                “For para (i) of Order portion of the  abovesaid  Government
                Order dated June 19, 1989 i.e., from  the  words  ‘From  Ist
                standard …. subject to study’ the following  para  shall  be
                substituted:


                ‘From Ist standard to IVth standard, where  it  is  expected
                that  normally  mother  tongue  will  be   the   medium   of
                instruction, only one  language  from  Appendix  I  will  be
                compulsory subject of study.’ “


           17. A careful reading of the above  GO  would  clearly  indicate
           that the element of compulsion at the primary stage is no longer
           there because the GO is unequivocal when it  says  from  Ist  to
           IVth standards mother tongue will be the medium of  instruction,
           only one language from Appendix I will be compulsory subject  of
           study.  From IIIrd standard onwards Kannada will  be  an  option
           subject for non-Kannada speaking students.  It is to  be  taught
           on voluntary basis there being no examination at the end of  the
           year in Kannada language……”



Thus, the reasons given by the Division Bench of this Court  to  uphold  the
Government order of the State of Karnataka dated  19.06.1989  are  that  the
Government had issued a corrigendum on  22.06.1989  and  a  reading  of  the
Government order after the corrigendum would show that there was no  element
of  compulsion  at  the  primary  stage  any  longer  that  the  medium   of
instruction from I standard to IV standard would be in mother  tongue.   The
decision of this Court in English Medium  Students  Parents  Association  v.
State of Karnataka & Ors. (supra), is, therefore, not an authority  for  the
proposition that prescription of mother tongue in classes I  to  IV  in  the
primary school can be compelled by the State as  a  regulatory  measure  for
maintaining the standards of education.

  42. We are of the considered opinion  that  though  the  experts  may  be
      uniform in their opinion that children studying in classes I to IV in
      the primary school can learn better  if  they  are  taught  in  their
      mother  tongue,  the  State  cannot  stipulate  as  a  condition  for
      recognition that the medium of instruction  for children studying  in
      classes I to IV in minority schools protected  under  Articles  29(1)
      and 30(1) of the Constitution and in private unaided schools enjoying
      the right to carry on any occupation under Article  19(1)(g)  of  the
      Constitution would be the mother  tongue  of  the  children  as  such
      stipulation.  We accordingly answer question No.(iii) referred to  us
      and hold that the imposition of mother tongue affects the fundamental
      rights under Articles 19, 29 and 30 of the Constitution.

  43. Question No.(iv):  Whether  the  Government  recognized  schools  are
      inclusive of both government-aided  schools  and  private  &  unaided
      schools?”

In Unni Krishnan, J.P. & Ors. v. State of Andhra  Pradesh  &  Ors.  (supra),
Jeevan Reddy J. writing the judgment for himself  and  for  Pandian  J.  has
held  in  paragraph  204  at  page  753  that  the  right  to  establish  an
educational institution does not carry with it the right to  recognition  or
the right to affiliation and that recognition and affiliation are  essential
for  meaningful  exercise  of  the  right  to   establish   and   administer
educational institutions.  In this judgment, the two Judges  of  this  Court
have also held that recognition may be granted either by the  Government  or
by  any  other  authority  or  body  empowered  to  accord  recognition  and
affiliation  may  be  granted  by  the  academic  body  empowered  to  grant
affiliation.  In this judgment, the two Judges of this  Court  have  further
held that it is open to a person to establish  an  educational  institution,
admit  students,   impart   education,   conduct   examination   and   award
certificates but the educational institution has no  right  to  insist  that
the  certificates  or  degrees  awarded  by  such  institution   should   be
recognized by the State and therefore  the  institution  has  to  seek  such
recognition or affiliation from the appropriate agency.   In  the  aforesaid
case of Unni Krishnan, J.P. &  Ors.  v.  State  of  Andhra  Pradesh  &  Ors.
(supra), S. Mohan J.  in  his  concurring  judgment  has  also  observed  in
paragraph 76 at page 693 that recognition is for the purpose  of  conforming
to the standards laid down by the State and affiliation is  with  regard  to
the syllabi and the courses of study  and  unless  and  until  they  are  in
accordance with the  prescription  of  the  affiliating  body,  certificates
cannot be conferred and hence the  educational  institution  is  obliged  to
follow the syllabi and the course of the study.  These  views  expressed  by
the three Judges in the Constitution Bench judgment of this  Court  in  Unni
Krishnan, J.P. & Ors. v. State of Andhra Pradesh &  Ors.  (supra)  have  not
been departed from in the majority judgment in T.M.A. Pai Foundation &  Ors.
v. State of Karnataka & Ors. (supra).  Kirpal C.J. writing the  judgment  in
T.M.A. Pai Foundation (supra) on behalf of  the  majority  Judges  has  held
that the fundamental right to establish an  educational  institution  cannot
be confused with the right to ask for recognition or affiliation.  From  the
aforesaid discussion of the law as developed by  this  Court,  it  is  clear
that all schools, whether they are established by the Government or  whether
they are aided by the Government or  whether  they  are  not  aided  by  the
Government,  require  recognition  to  be  granted  in  accordance  of   the
provisions  of  the  appropriate  Act  or  Government  order.   Accordingly,
Government  recognized  schools  will  not  only  include  government  aided
schools but also unaided schools which have been granted recognition.

  44. Question No.(v): whether the State can by virtue of Article 350-A  of
      the Constitution compel the linguistic  minorities  to  choose  their
      mother tongue only as medium of instruction in primary schools ?

We have extracted Article  350A  of  the  Constitution  above  and  we  have
noticed that in this Article it is provided that it shall be  the  endeavour
of every State and of every local authority  within  the  State  to  provide
adequate facilities for instruction in the  mother  tongue  at  the  primary
stage of education to children belonging to linguistic minority groups.   We
have already held that a linguistic minority  under  Article  30(1)  of  the
Constitution has the right to choose the  medium  of  instruction  in  which
education will be imparted in the primary stages of the school which it  has
established.  Article 350A therefore cannot be interpreted  to  empower  the
State to compel a linguistic minority to choose its mother tongue only as  a
medium of instruction in a primary school established by it in violation  of
this fundamental right under Article 30(1).  We accordingly hold that  State
has  no  power  under  Article  350A  of  the  Constitution  to  compel  the
linguistic minorities to choose their mother tongue  only  as  a  medium  of
instruction in primary schools.

45.    In view of our answers to the questions referred to  us,  we  dismiss
Civil Appeal Nos.5166-5190 of 2013, 5191-5199  of  2013,  the  Civil  Appeal
arising out of S.L.P. (C) No.32858 of 2013 and Writ Petition (C)  No.290  of
2009.  There shall be no order as to costs.


                                         .....……………..……………………CJI.
                                    (R.M. Lodha)


                                          .....……………..……………………….J.
                                    (A. K. Patnaik)




                                          .....……………..……………………….J.
                                    (Sudhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya)




                                          .....……………..……………………….J.
                                    (Dipak Misra)


                        ...…....………….……………………..J.
                                 (Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla)
New Delhi,
May 06, 2014.




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