The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed as withdrawn a batch of special leave petitions challenging the law enacted by the Tamil Nadu government to bring in a uniform school education system. A Bench of Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice B.S. Chauhan after hearing senior counsel Harish Salve for the petitioners and Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam and Additional Advocate General for the State P. Wilson declined to interfere with the Madras High Court judgment dated April 30 upholding the law.
The Bench in its brief order said: “On going through the challenges made before the High Court and the relevant provisions of Tamil Nadu Uniform System of School Education Act 2010 and the impugned order dated April 30 read with Order dated May 5 as well as the reasoning of the High Court, we are in entire agreement with the same. We find no valid ground to interfere. The special leave petitions are dismissed.”
The Bench said: “Senior counsel seeks permission to withdraw the permission to file SLP and special leave petition. Permission is granted. Application for permission to file SLP and special leave petition are dismissed as withdrawn.” On behalf of the State it was submitted that the common curriculum was already implemented from this academic year for Standards I and VI. If the petitioner schools had any grievance, they could always approach the authorities concerned for redressal, which would be considered in accordance with law.
In the appeals, the Association of Matriculation Schools and Managements in Tamil Nadu, parents of several students and others stated that the object of the enactment of Tamil Nadu Uniform Systems of School Education Act, 2010 was to bring down the standard of matriculation schools to match with government schools and to keep Tamil Nadu children away from the benefit of national curriculum. They were shocked to see the syllabus and textbooks prescribed by the government under this Act. The appellants said the Act “clearly puts children five years backward to the children studying national curriculum and other better syllabus.” It was pointed out that the syllabus prescribed for Standard I was completed by children of matriculation schools in kindergarten class. They said the State government, instead of making improvements in the composition of the State Board schools by enabling managements of government schools to have better infrastructure and better qualified teachers, passed the impugned legislation, bringing down the standards of all the systems in the name of unification of all the four Boards. The SLPs sought the quashing of the High Court judgment and an interim stay of its operation.