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Report No. 216

Hon'ble Mr. Justice N. Santosh Hegde

"I am extremely sorry for not responding to your request earlier. Please excuse me for the same.

(I have carefully considered the recommendations of the Committee of Parliament on Official Language at Sl.No.16.8(d) and 16.8(e), in which they sought an amendment to Article 348 of the Constitution, in regard to language to be adopted by the Legislative Department as welll as language to be used by the High Courts and Supreme Court, while delivering their judgments.

(I have no comment to make in regard to the proposed amendment in Sl.No.16.8(d) since it refers to original drafting being in Hindi, which I presume will be officially translated in English. However, I have very strong objections to the proposed amendment at Para 16.8 (e) to Article 348, which would compel the High Courts and Supreme Court throughout the Country to deliver judgments and decrees in Hindi.

The reason given therein that large number of Government Departments are carrying out judicial/ quasi judicial functions, can deliver consequential orders in Hindi of judgments of the superior courts are in Hindi, is fallacious. There may be some Departments in some States, in which official language of the State is Hindi. But it is necessary to be borne in mind that all the States in this Country do not have Hindi as its official State language nor do they have Hindi as their official language of communication.

In this country where the States are divided on linguistic basis and each State has its own State Language, the recommendation made would only disturb peace in this Country. Every one knows that as it is, there is no shortage of conflict between the States not only with reference to Language, but also with reference to boundaries and sharing of water. In this background I have great apprehension that the recommendation made by the Committee of Parliament on Official Language would certainly give raise to ultimate disintegration of the Country.

I am not a language fanatic, but the above apprehension of mind is a genuine feeling having noticed over the years how regional influences are playing vital role in the politics and culture of respective States. Hence, this move is neither politically wise nor constitutionally correct. The assurance given by Constitutional framers to protect linguistic culture of various States and sections of the Society will be deprived by this proposal. Hence, I strongly oppose this move.

At this juncture I may bring to your kind notice that various States have started making demands that the judiciary should follow and adopt regional language in their respective High Courts and subordinate Courts. I am against such moves also, which would in my opinion would isolate the State High Courts from other Courts and ultimately the representation of the States in the Apex Court of the Country is bound to be seriously affected."

Non-Feasibility of Introduction of Hindi as Compulsory Language in the Supreme Court of India Back

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