In a relief to linguistic minority students in Tamil Nadu, the Madras High Court on Monday exempted them from writing compulsory Tamil paper in the class tenth board exam till 2022.
Allowing pleas moved by various linguistic minority schools, a full bench of the high court comprising justices S Manikumar, Abdul Quddhose and Subramonium Prasad granted the reprieve.
The bench, however, refused to quash a government order dated September 18, 2014 bringing all the schools in the state under the purview of the Tamil Nadu Tamil Learning Act, 2006 which makes Tamil paper compulsory in the tenth standard board exam.
As a result, from 2023 linguistic minority students should also write the compulsory Tamil paper.
Since 2016, the court has been exempting linguistic minority students from writing the Tamil language exam.
Later, on March 7, 2018, the first bench of the court headed by the then Chief Justice Indira Banerjee, now a Supreme Court judge, referred the issue to the full bench.
When the plea was taken up, senior counsel for the schools M Ravindran explained that though a legislation making Tamil paper compulsory was enacted in 2006, it was brought into force only in 2014, and all schools were informed about the decision only in June that year.
Since Tamil language is completely new to such schools where the medium of instruction is their mother tongue like Urdu and Arabic, Ravindran said some more time must be given to the institutions to comply with the law.