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Amendment moving Education to Concurrent List challenged
“Implementation of NEP will lead to a situation where the autonomy of the States in the field of education will be completely taken away thereby striking at the very root of the federal structure,” the petitioner said. The petition is challenging the 1976 Act transferring the Subject of Education to Concurrent list and the Centre's sweeping reforms in education.

CHENNAI, Sept 14: The Madras High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Centre and the State on a petirion challenging the Constitution Amendment 1976 Act transferring the Subject of Education from the State List to the Concurrent List. Subjects on the Concurrent List come under the domain of both the Centre and the States, enabling both to enact laws.

The petition challenges the Section 57 of the Constitution (Forty Second Amendment) Act of 1976, which moved Education to Concurrent List, on the ground that the amendment impinges on the federal character of the statute.

The court asked the Centre and the State to file counter-affidavits within eight weeks. The court will hear the case after ten weeks.

Senior counsel NR Elango appeared for the petitioner. Additional Solicitor General R Sankaranarayanan said that the Centre should have sought ratification of the legislation by the State Assemblies before enacting the change. However, since the Subject has not been moved from State to Union List, there is no threat to the federal character.

Aram Seyya Virumbu Trust of Chennai, which provides legal assistance to the poor, had filed the writ petition. Ezhilan Naganathan, a trustee, represented the Trust. He pointed out in his affidavit that even during the British rule Education was treated as a provincial Subject. And it continued so after Independence also. There were also debates in the Constituent Assembly on the imperatives of keeping Education as a State Subject, it was stated on behalf of the trust.

“Implementation of NEP will lead to a situation where the autonomy of the States in the field of education will be completely taken away thereby striking at the very root of the federal structure,” the trust said.

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