Bench to hear State and respondents before passing any order

The Supreme Court will hear on Tuesday a special leave petition filed by the Tamil Nadu government against the interim order of the Madras High Court staying the operation of an amendment to the Tamil Nadu Uniform System of School Education Act for postponing the implementation of the ‘Samacheer Kalvi Thittam' (Uniform System of School Education).

A vacation Bench of Justices B.S. Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar directed the SLP to be listed on June 14 after senior counsel P.P. Rao, appearing for the State, made a mention about the filing of the SLP and sought early hearing. Since caveats have been filed, the Bench will hear both the State and the respondents before passing any order.

The State in its SLP stated that the High Court order was unsustainable as the operation of a legislative enactment would not normally be stayed.

There was always a presumption in favour of the constitutionality of a statute.

The High Court erred in not considering that the review of the syllabus was necessitated owing to various deficiencies, including propaganda material introduced by the DMK government virtually amounting to politicising the minds of young children.

Textbooks printed under the syllabus were produced before the court to demonstrate the position but the High Court failed to consider the same.

The SLP pointed out that the amended Section 3 of the 2011 Act provided that the State should follow uniform syllabus as and from a date to be notified and until such notification was made the system of four streams of education as prevailing in the State was to continue.

Assailing the High Court order for observing that there were no materials with the government before taking the decision, the SLP said representations received from various quarters revealed that the syllabus was wanting in quality and content in various subjects.

On the High Court's reasoning that no review was done by an expert committee before the amending Act was passed, the SLP said the State had undertaken the review/study and it was found that the materials were replete with deficiencies and inadequacies, thereby vitally affecting the ability of students to meet the growing changes of globalisation and national and international level.

It was also found that there was no scope for creative learning and extra textual learning as recommended by National Curriculum Framework 2005.

As a consequence, the competence of the students in the State would not be on a par with students of other parts of the country while facing national-level examinations.

The SLP sought quashing of the impugned order and an interim stay of its operation.

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