Madras HC to hear plea on higher education on Concurrent List | Chennai News


CHENNAI: The Madras high court has decided to constitute a three-judge bench to adjudicate a case challenging the 42nd constitutional amendment transferring higher education from State List to Concurrent List of the Constitution. The first bench of Acting Chief Justice M Duraiswamy and Justice Sundar Mohan passed the order on Thursday, on the plea moved by an NGO through its representative, Dr Ezhilan Naganathan, a DMK MLA.
In a bid to review the Emergency-era decision, transferring higher education from State List to Concurrent List of the Constitution, the Madras high court has decided to constitute a three-judge bench to adjudicate a DMK MLA’s case challenging the 42nd constitutional amendment.
The first bench of Acting Chief Justice M Duraiswamy and Justice Sundar Mohan passed the order on Thursday, on the plea moved by an NGO — Aram Seyya Virumbu Trust — through its representative, Dr Ezhilan Naganathan, who is also a DMK MLA representing Thousand Lights constituency.
When the plea came up for hearing, the NGO submitted that a full bench would be the appropriate forum to decide the constitutional matter. Concurring with the submission, the bench passed the order.
The NGO has challenged the validity of Section 57 of the Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act, 1976 which deleted Entry 11 of List II (State List) of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution and effectively transferred the subject of education to List III (Concurrent List).
According to the petitioner, Section 57 of the Constitution violated the basic structure doctrine, as it resulted in upsetting the federal structure as had been originally envisaged by the Constitution framers.
“By virtue of transferring the subject of education from List II to List III, the States’ executive/legislative autonomy in the matters of education has become subservient to Union‘s executive/legislative powers,” the petitioner said.
He added that when a subject is taken out of the exclusive legislative/executive control of the State and exercise of such authority of the State is made subordinate to the legislative/executive authority of the Union government, the federal balance is disturbed.
The petitioner further pointed out that education has been treated as a provincial subject across various Constitutions like Canada, Australia, and the United States of America including the Indian Constitution, prior to impugned amendment.
Noting that federalism is a basic structure of the constitution, the petitioner said, “…it was not the intention of the Constitution-makers to grant untrammelled power to the Union government with regard to the very basic subjects such as primary education.”





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