The State government on Tuesday told the High Court of Karnataka that it is contemplating relaxing the norms set out for granting minority status to private religious and linguistic schools offering primary and secondary education.

Advocate-General Ravivarma Kumar made an oral submission before a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D.H. Waghela and Justice B.V. Nagarathna during when it was hearing an appeal filed by the State against an interim order passed by a single judge on a petition filed by Sri Vani Education Centre, Bangalore.

The State is planning to relax one of the norms which said that 75 per cent of the total seats in an educational institution should be given to students from the particular minority community to which the institution belongs to, Mr. Kumar said and added that the authorities are proposing to reduce it to 50 per cent.

He, however, said that a circular issued by the Education Department on July 24, which had also constituted committees headed by Commissioners for Public Instruction to reassess the minority status of these institutions for implementing the Right to Education Act, remained unimplemented in view of a stay order granted by the High Court.

When it was pointed out that different norms have been set out for minority institutions offering primary education and higher education, the Bench orally asked why the State has not constituted an authority for determining minority status of educational institutions by laying down uniform guidelines.

Meanwhile, the Bench disposed of the appeal, asking the State government to consider the plea of the school for granting minority status and vacated the interim order passed by the single judge Bench, which had restrained the government from forcing the school to reserve 25 per cent of total seats under RTE quota as was done by the school during the previous academic year. The school had contended that the government was not considering its plea for linguistic minority status, which would exclude it from the ambit of RTE Act.

Consumer forums

In another case, the Bench granted time till June 30 to the State government to fill posts of presiding officers and members of various district consumer redressal forums that have been vacant for a long period. Allowing an application filed by the State seeking more time for making appointments, the Bench hoped that the authorities would fill the posts expeditiously.

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