CHENNAI: The Madras High Court held that private stream candidates who studied Class I to IX in the ICSE and CBSE syllabus without Tamil as a subject are eligible for an exemption from writing the Tamil language paper in their Class X board examination.
“Tamil Learning Act, 2006 mandated that everyone should study Tamil from Class 1 to X. However, as per the powers conferred to the state under Section 5 of the Act, the TN released a GO on March 6, 2018, providing exemption to students coming from other states and students who study CBSE and ICSE syllabus in TN. The benefit of GO would be available to all students who have studied in CBSE / State Board schools till the 10th standard without the benefit of Tamil as a language," Justice Anita Sumanth observed on hearing two writ petitions filed by K Jinesh Jain and A Mohammed Khalid.
The petitioners who had completed till IXth standard under the CBSE curriculum without Tamil as a subject wanted a direction from the court to the state government to provide an exemption for writing the Tamil exam in the 10th board examination which will be commencing from May 6.
The state government’s advocate submitted that the petitioners are going to write the 10th public exam through the private stream of study and the benefit of the exemption would apply to students who opt for the regular-stream.
Justice Anita Sumanth rejected such contention observing that there is no justification whatsoever for this qualification.
"The petitioners will be permitted to write examinations commencing from May 6 and hall tickets issued to them forthwith including the choice of subject as 'Hindi',” the judge directed the state government.
The judge posted the matter on June 10, directing the state to file a counter by then with an advance copy served upon the petitioners.