The apex court ruled that the state has no power to compel linguistic minority to impart primary education by compulsorily imposing regional language
The Supreme court on Tuesday held that the government cannot impose mother tongue on linguistic minority for imparting primary education.
"State has no power to compel linguistic minority to impart primary education by compulsorily imposing regional language," a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice RM Lodha said.
The bench, comprising justices AK Patnaik, SJ Mukhopadhaya, Dipak Misra and FMI Kalifulla, was hearing the issue about two orders issued by the Karnataka government making mother tongue or regional language compulsory for imparting education from class I to IV.
In July last year, a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court had said its Constitution Bench will examine whether government can impose mother tongue or regional language as the medium of instruction at the primary education stage as it has a far-reaching significance on the development of children.
The court, which was of the opinion that it was a fit case for consideration by a larger bench, had said that the issue involved in this case concerns the fundamental rights of not only the present generation but also the generations yet to be born.
It had said that the issue had to be referred to a larger bench as a two-judge bench of the Court in 1993 had refused to interfere with a Karnataka government order specifying mother tongue Kannada as the medium of instruction at the primary school level and making it mandatory for every child.
The Supreme Court said, Section 6A of the DSPE Act, which requires government's nod for offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act to make inquiry against officer of the rank of joint secretary and above, is invalid and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution
The Supreme Court on Tuesday held as invalid and unconstitutional the legal provision, which makes sanction of competent authority mandatory for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe a corruption case against an officer of joint secretary-rank or above, saying it has the propensity of shielding the corrupt.
A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice RM Lodha delivered the judgement after examining Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act (DSPEA), which protects top bureaucrats from being investigated in corruption cases without prior approval.
"We hold Section 6A of the Act, which requires Central Government's approval for the offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) to make inquiry against officer of the rank of joint secretary and above, as invalid and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution," the bench, also comprising justices AK Patnaik, SJ Mukhopadhaya, Dipak Misra and FMI Kalifulla, said.
It said there cannot be any classification of officers for the purpose of inquiry of offence under the PCA.
"The corrupt public servants, higher or lower in rank, are the birds of same feather and have to be dealt with equally," the court observed.
Maintaining that "corruption is an enemy of nation", the bench said that it is difficult to make classification of officers in graft cases as it is against the mandate of the PCA.
It said that the prior approval under Section 6A would result, indirectly, in halting the investigation and if the CBI is not allowed to carry on the preliminary inquiry how the investigation can proceed.
"We are of the view that there can be no distinction between certain class of officials for inquiry of the offences under the PCA.
"How can the status of officials be of any relevance in the offence under PCA and any distinction by way of Section 6A of the DSPEA makes it violative of Article 14," the bench said, adding that the protection as provided in Section 6A has the propensity of shielding the corrupt.
The court said there cannot be any exemption from equal treatment and any official facing allegations of corruption has to be treated with the same process of inquiry.
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