The Madras high court on Tuesday ordered notice to the union government and the State Government on a plea challenging Section 57 of the Constitution (Forty-Second Amendment) Act, 1976 to the extent that it deleted education including, technical education, medical education and universities from the State list to the Concurrent list as part of Entry 25 as being violative of the federal structure.
The first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P D Audikesvalu before whom the plea came impleaded the State on observing that the plea pertains to constitutional amendment of some vintage.
“The petitioner says that the deletion of education from the second list and inclusion in the third list in the relevant schedule of the Constitution was against the basic structure of federalism that the Constitution espouses,” the bench said while ordering both the Union and State to file their counter affidavits within eight weeks.
The plea moved by Aram Seyya Virumbu Trust (ASVT) represented by DMK MLA (Thousand Lights), Dr.Ezhilan Naganathan submitted that the said amendment has resulted in violation of the basic structure of the Constitution by upsetting the federal structure as originally envisaged by the Constitution framers
The plea contended that by virtue of introduction of ‘Education’ in List III, the autonomy of the states in matters of Education has become subordinate to Parliament/Union Government. It further noted that the upsetting of the federal balance is more pronounced now in light of the recent policies promulgated by the Union Government, such as the National Education Policy, 2020, National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993 etc., taking away the States autonomy causing damage to the Federal structure.