‘Constitute larger bench to hear plea to shift edu to state subject’

“The transfer subject ‘Education’ from List II to List III has resulted in upsetting the federal structure that was envisaged by the makers of the Constitution,” he added.
Madras High Court
Madras High Court

CHENNAI: The first bench of Madras High Court comprising Acting Chief Justice M Duraiswamy and Justice Sunder Mohan on Thursday passed directions and ordered to constitute a three-judge bench to hear a petition filed by DMK MLA Dr Ezhilan Naganathan to shift the education from the Concurrent List to State List.

According to the DMK legislator who filed the petition on behalf of Aram Seyya Virumbu Trust, Section 57 of the Constitution (Forty-Second Amendment) Act, 1976 whereby deleted Entry 11 from List II and transferred the subject contained in said Entry 11 from the State list to the Concurrent list, making it a part of Entry 25, List III, violates the basic structure doctrine.

“The transfer subject ‘Education’ from List II to List III has resulted in upsetting the federal structure that was envisaged by the makers of the Constitution,” he added.

Ezhilan also noted that by virtue of transferring the subject of ‘Education’ from List II to List III, the States’ executive/legislative autonomy in the matters of ‘Education' has become subservient to Union’s executive/legislative powers.

“The latest example is the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, and National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993 etc., have taken away the States autonomy causing damage to the federal structure, ” the petitioner said in his affidavit.

He also pointed out that the constituent assembly of India had struck down the amendments to bring education under the union subject.

“States are better equipped to know the educational needs of the different communities, the requirements for specific types of education, the socio-economic status of different communities and formulate policies and laws that address the prevailing problems,” the petitioner added.

Since the petitioner prayed for a direction to refer the matter to a larger bench since it is a constitutional subject, the judges passed orders to constitute a three-judge bench in this matter.

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