Edu Act amendment was a mistake: TN counsel in SC

In an embarrassment to the Jayalalithaa Government, senior counsel P P Rao on Wednesday stated in the Supreme Court that the controversial amendment to the State`s School Education Act was "unnecessary" and ill-advised.

Last Updated: Jul 27, 2011, 19:06 PM IST

New Delhi: In an embarrassment to the
Jayalalithaa Government, senior counsel P P Rao on Wednesday stated
in the Supreme Court that the controversial amendment to the
State`s School Education Act for scrapping the curriculum
approved by the previous DMK regime was "unnecessary" and
ill-advised.
Rao, who is appearing for the State, told the apex
court that the amendment was brought in on the basis of wrong
legal opinion which has now landed the Government in trouble.

"Yes, I agree sound, bold and independent legal
opinion was not given that the amendment was not necessary.

"It is true by doing an unnecessary thing we have
landed ourselves in unnecessary trouble," Rao told a three-
judge bench hearing the validity of the amendment to the Tamil
Nadu Uniform System of School Education Act, 2010.

Rao made the submission in response to queries made by
the bench of J M Panchal, Deepak Verma and B S Chauhan as to
what was the need for the amendment when the Madras High Court
had already given the State a year`s time to implement the Act
formulated by the erstwhile DMK Government.

However, the counsel at the conclusion of the day-long
hearing told the bench that the views expressed by him were
"personal" and claimed that the media was distorting his
observation as being that of the State Government.

Senior counsel A Sundaram appearing for some of the
schools submitted that the power to legislate or carry out the
amendments was the prerogative of the Legislature and courts
cannot and should not interfere in the matters unless it
violated the Constitution.
The arguments would continue tomorrow.

On July 21, the apex court had refused to stay the
Madras High Court order quashing the amendment and had asked
the state government to distribute over 9 crore text books,
printed as per the course curriculum, approved by the previous
government.

It, however, allowed the government to distribute the
books by August 2, instead of July 22 as fixed by the High
Court.

The AIADMK Government brought in the amendment on the
ground that books printed by the previous DMK Government
lavished praised on the party leaders particularly its MP
and 2G spectrum scam accused Kanimozhi.

The Jayalalithaa government had moved the apex court
challenging the Madras High Court`s order which had struck
down an amendment to the Tamil Nadu Uniform System of School
Education (Amendment) Act, 2011.

The state had challenged the high court`s order on the
ground that it was "illegal and erroneous."

The high court had also directed the government to
distribute the textbooks printed under the Uniform System of
Education to enable teachers commence classes and to complete
the exercise by July 22.

Tamil Nadu has over 1.2 crore students in four
streams of school education -- 45,000 state board schools,
11,000 matriculation schools, 25 oriental schools and 50
Anglo--Indian schools, all with separate syllabus, textbooks
and schemes of examinations.

`Samacheer Kalvi` scheme, aimed at bringing about
uniform education, was shelved by Jayalalithaa in one of her
first acts since returning to power of reversing several pet
schemes of the Karunanidhi government regime.

PTI