HC won’t stay order banning homework for Class I, II students

Asks why CBSE wants entire order stayed if it was aggrieved only against a portion of it

A Division Bench of Justices M. Venugopal and M. Nirmal Kumar of the Madras High Court on Tuesday refused to stay an order passed by Justice N. Kirubakaran on May 29 that no school in the country, irrespective of the board to which it is affiliated, should prescribe homework for Class I and II students.

The Bench said no interim orders could be granted on a writ appeal preferred by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) without giving an opportunity to the writ petitioner, M. Purushothaman, who had obtained the orders from the single judge, to file his counter affidavit since he had filed a caveat.

During the course of arguments, a senior counsel representing CBSE said the Board was not averse to the issue of not prescribing homework to class I and II students in schools affiliated to it since it had issued necessary circulars on the issue even before the single judge had issued the directive.

However, it was not in a position to implement the single judge’s other directions such as forcing all private schools affiliated to it to follow only National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) textbooks and not to force the students to purchase books by private publishers.

Pointing out that the Delhi High Court had passed a completely contradictory order preventing the CBSE from interfering with the schools which wanted to follow books by private publishers, the senior counsel said that the Board was in a quandry as to which of the two orders should be obeyed by it.

Further, stating that Mr. Justice Kirubakaran had also ordered for flying squads to inspect all schools regularly and make sure that they follow the directives on homework as well as NCERT books, the counsel said, it would not be possible to form flying squads when the countrywide staff strength of CBSE was only around 1,500.

Though he contended that CBSE was aggrieved only with respect to the directives on following NCERT books and forming flying squads, Mr. Justice Venugopal, the senior judge in the Division Bench pointed out that the Board had filed an application seeking interim stay of the entire order and not a part of it.

Observing that the question of granting of stay could be decided only on the next date of hearing, the Bench adjourned the case to August 6.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 3:29:11 PM |

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