The government on Wednesday said that it would not take any action regarding the disposal of ‘Samacheer Kalvi Thittam' textbooks, which have been printed so far, till June 8, the next date of hearing of petitions relating to the scheme, pending before the Madras High Court.
When writ petitions came up before a Vacation Bench, comprising Justices V. Ramasubramanian and G.M. Akbar Ali, Advocate-General A. Navaneethakrishnan produced a letter from the State Education Secretary conveying the decision. The Bench recorded the letter.
In a public interest litigation petition, P.B. Prince Gajendra Babu, general secretary, State Platform for Common School System, challenged the constitutional and legal validity of the new government to defer the implementation of the Samacheer Kalvi Thittam.
He said that the decision was ultra vires the Tamil Nadu Uniform System of School Education Act since no such power was given to the Cabinet under the law. There was no material record to support the decision. The State was acting according to its “whims and fancies.” It had ignored the stress and trauma caused to children due to the confusion on what they should read.
The petitioner prayed the court for interim injunction forbearing the respondents from disposing the textbooks published as per the approval of the State Common Board of School Education.
Another petition filed by K. Suresh, secretary, Human Rights Protection Centre-TN, Chennai district, submitted that the decision of the new Cabinet could not be termed ‘policy decision.' The Cabinet took the decision even without considering experts.
The public was affected by the government's move. He prayed the court to declare the Cabinet decision of May 22 null and void and unconstitutional.
The petitioner prayed for an interim stay of further proceedings of tender for printing of textbooks by the Tamil Nadu Textbook Corporation, dated May 21, and also an interim direction to the authorities to reopen schools in the State on June 3 and to issue the textbooks now available for Standards I to X as per the syllabus under the Samacheer Kalvi Thittam.
The Tamil Nadu Recognised Aided Private School Managements Association, represented by its general secretary, J.L. Pandian, prayed the court for a direction to the authorities to implement the Tamil Nadu Uniform System of School Education Act for academic year 2011-12 uninfluenced by the Cabinet decision of May 22.
The Bench posted the petitions for further hearing on June 8.