The Andhra Pradesh High Court in Amaravati issued directions to the state government and the Centre to file their counters to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that challenged the introduction of English medium in all government schools in the state.
The PIL was filed by Srinivasa Sudhish Rambhotla, a BJP leader and one Guntupalli Srinivas from Eluru.
In their petition, the duo argued that the move by the ruling YSRCP government was discriminatory and violated the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.
Stating that the children and their parents should have the right to select the medium of instruction in their schools, the petitioners said that the state's new law would be in contravention with the central law.
As officials sought for time to file their counter, the case posted the matter for further hearing to February 4.
The court's order comes just days after the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly ratified the Bill for making English medium mandatory in all government schools for a second time in two months.
The Assembly has proposed to amend the AP Education Act, 1982, as per the Bill to incorporate the necessary provisions related to English medium of instruction.
The Bill had already been passed by the Assembly during the winter session in December, but faced a hurdle in the Legislative Council, where the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has a majority.
The decision to make English medium instruction mandatory saw severe opposition, with many claiming that it would work against the interest of preserving the Telugu language. Some groups also criticised the government for taking such a huge step without sufficient groundwork, while others complained that the move could adversely affect poor children and lead to dropouts.
However, the criticism has been countered, particularly by Dalit groups, who argued that access to English medium education is a step towards increased opportunities for children from marginalised communities.