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Madras HC grants time till June 25 for minority schools to exempt from new private schools Act

- April 9, 2024

Chennai ,April 9

The Madras High Court has granted time till June 25 for the Tamil Nadu government to take a decision on the request by Minority schools to exempt them from certain provisions of the new Tamil Nadu Private Schools (Regulation ) Act of 2018. The Act , it may be recalled had come into force in 2023.

The First Division Bench of the Madras High Court comprising of Chief Justice Sanjay V. Gangapurwala and Justice J. Sathya Narayana Prasad on April 8, granted time till June 25.

Senior Counsel Rev. Fr. Xavier Arulraj and advocate H. Mary Sowmi Rexi informed the court that the representation had been made under Section 19 of the 2018 Act, which empowers the government to exempt minority schools from such provisions of the Act, or the rules or orders issued thereunder, which may impinge upon the minority character of the schools run by religious and linguistic minorities.

Advocate General P.S. Raman said the representation made by the educational institutions was under the consideration of the government. However he said that no decision taken on it could be declared now, because of the Model Code of Conduct in force due to the Lok Sabha elections.

After recording the submission of the Advocate General ,the court adjourned the case to June 25.

The first Bench also extended till the next hearing, an interim order of status quo ante be maintained as on December 17, 1975 . A Division Bench of the High Court had declared as inapplicable, certain provisions of the Tamil Nadu Recognised Private Schools (Regulation) Act of 1973 and the statutory rules framed thereunder in 1974 to minority educational institutions.

The minority schools had in their present writ petitions, contended that the new law enacted by the State legislature in 2018 and brought into force from 2023, were in violation of the Constitutional right of minorities to administer educational institutions.

The advocates appearing for the minority institutions contended that the provisions, which insist on obtaining permission from a competent authority to establish a private school and those which that unrestricted power to the competent authority to withdraw the recognition of any private school offended the rights of the minorities.