HC rejects plea of a lawyer seeking to put education in a straitjacket

 Madras High Court today dismissed petition of a lawyer, seeking an interim injunction to restrain a school from admitting children of ages six to eight and teaching Veda and other subjects and said he was "seeking to put education in a straitjacket."

Chennai: Madras High Court today dismissed petition of a lawyer, seeking an interim injunction to restrain a school from admitting children of ages six to eight and teaching Veda and other subjects and said he was "seeking to put education in a straitjacket."

The First bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M M Sundresh, dismissed the application by advocate M Vetriselvan, seeking a directive to restrain Isha Samskriti from admitting children of this age group, saying it was misconceived and seeks to put education in a straitjacket.

The bench noted that various forms of education prevail in India. It was trite to say that in the ancient form of education, children used to learn and educate themselves under tutelage of scholars. This was subsequently overtaken by the concept of boarding schools to an extent borrowed from the English education system.

"Today there are various forms of education prevailing and thus it is not for a person to insist that only a particular education form should be adopted. Moving such an application appears to suggest ulterior motive. We thus dismiss the application as misconceived."

The matter relates to a petition filed by the lawyer, who originally filed a PIL seeking a directive to act on Isha Foundation in Vellingiri foothills of Coimbatore, which runs Isha Samskrithi, a school for children of age 6 to 18 years in an 'unapproved' building in violation of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution.

He also sought action against the School Education and Elementary education departments for 'failure' to take action. He alleged that the foundation does not provide education to them as per Tamil Nadu government standards. They were deprived of a chance of free and compulsory education available to youngsters aged 6 to 14 in the country, he contended.

Vetriselvan also alleged that the foundation had started collecting fees for the present academic year from parents of children in the 6 to 8 years group.

The petitioner's main contention was that the foundation was not providing regular education as prescribed and instead was taking a holistic approach to Vedic studies with emphasis on study of Vedas and special emphasis on Sangeetha Sastra, Natya Sastra, Yogic practices and Kalaripayattu (a martial art form of Kerala .

He further alleged that such Vedic Patasalas, Madrassas and Christian Bibilical institutions do not fall under realm of any statutory education code. Hence he sought a interim injunction restraining the foundation from taking any steps to admit children aged six to eight in Isha Samskriti.

The interim injunction application of the petitioner was dismissed by the Bench. 

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