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Madras High Court Refers Issue To Larger Bench

The Madras High Court recently referred to a larger bench, an issue involving the removal of education from the state list to the contemporaneous list.

the couch of Acting Chief Justice M Duraiswamy and Justice Sunder Mohan ordered the Registry to place the note on the administrative side before the Acting Chief Justice for the establishment of a full bank.

The directions were issued in a plea from Aram Seyya Virumbu Trust, which contested the validity of Section 57 of the Constitution (Forty-second Amendment Act) 1976 as it relates to List II listing 11 and List III listing 25. The petitioner argued that the ultra vires section was the basic structure of the Constitution of India.

The petitioner argued that education should essentially be a state subject, as the state is best suited to identify the needs of the people.

When the matter came up for discussion yesterday, senior counsel NR Elango, who appeared before the petitioner, argued that given the court’s comment that the case concerns an old-fashioned constitutional amendment, it would be appropriate for the matter to be addressed by a larger bank is decided. Solicitors General R Shanmugasundaram and Deputy Solicitor General of India Mr Rajesh Vivekananthan agreed with this statement.

The court has therefore decided to refer the case to a larger court to rule on the following legal questions raised by the petitioners:

1. Whether Article 57 of the Constitution (Forty-Second Amendment Act), 1976, in so far as it relates to List II entry 11 and List III entry 25, is ultra vires contrary to the basic structure of the Constitution?

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2. Whether the Department is contrary to the federal structure in that it subjects the executive and legislative powers of the states to deal with the subject of “education” at a non-university level to the executive and legislative branches of the Union?

3. Whether “education” is essentially a subject of the State and the Union may appropriate the competence to regulate the autonomy of the State in the field of education in fields other than those covered by entries listed in List 1 of Annex 7 ?

4. Can the Government of the Union be presumed to have acknowledged the statements in the affidavit, in the absence of a specific denial by the first defendant (Union of India) of the statements in the affidavit?”

Case Title: Aram Seyya Virumbu Trust v. Union of India and Others

Case No: WP No. 19490 of 2021


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