Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Monday refrained from passing orders on petitions by 10 schools from Bangalore that had challenged the refusal by the State Government in permitting them to start English-medium schools. The court, however, ordered maintenance of status quo on the issue, saying that no decision could be given when the decision on a similar issue is pending judgment by a Full Bench.

A Full Bench comprising Chief Justice Cyriac Joseph, and Justices Manjula Chellur and N. Kumar had heard for several months the language policy and reserved verdict on it.

Pallavi Cultural and Education Trust of Kamakshipalya, Christian Association Education, Venkateshwara Education Society and seven other institutions said the jurisdictional Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPI) had refused to grant permission to them to open English-medium schools. Contesting the order, they said the DDPI order is illegal, arbitrary and unconstitutional. Such a refusal, they said, amounted to violation of fundamental rights.

Defending the rejection, Advocate-General, B.V. Acharya said no school started after 1994 could teach in English.

Moreover, a single judge could not hear petitions questioning the medium of instruction or language policy when it is pending decision by a bigger Bench. In its counter, the State said institutions that had violated the undertaking they had been given when starting schools had fallen in line with the Government policy and filed affidavits in the High Court promising not to violate the State policy.

Justice Ashok B. Hinchigeri, in his interim order, said he had asked that status quo be maintained on the issue and asked the office to post the case after the Full Bench gave its decision.