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Report No. 216

Hon'ble Mr. Justice SSM Quadri

"I thank you for your letter of November 30th, 2007 enclosing a copy of an earlier letter and seeking my opinion on the recommendations of the Committee of Parliament on Official Language, extracted therein.

I have carefully gone through these recommendations and thought over the same with great concern. Though the recommendations are commendable and are long desired, I feel that giving effect to them, would give rise to not only practical difficulties, but will also make conditions in India more volatile.

(Insofar as the recommendation of the said Committee at serial No.16.8(d) is concerned, there can of course be no problem in amending Article 348 of the Constitution of India to enable the Legislative Department to undertake original drafting in Hindi.

However, the recommendation contained in S.No.16.8(e), which deals with requiring the High Courts/Supreme Court to start delivering judgments and decrees etc., in Hindi, is beset with various difficulties - practical as well as political having ramifications of uphill task not hard to guess and not easy to get over.

First, it is of common knowledge, Legislative enactments and Rules are not available in Hindi to all the Judges, members of the Bar and litigant public in all parts of the country. Secondly, the authoritative text books, commentaries and law journals are not being printed in Hindi. Thirdly, the plethora of case law both before and after independence is still in English and has not been translated into Hindi. Fourthly, the required number of Hindi Stenographers are not available.

Fifthly, the southern States are not well equipped to accept delivery of judgments, decrees and orders in Hindi. Sixthly, it is also common knowledge that after reorganization of States on the basis of regional languages, certain southern States have sharply reacted to implementation of Hindi as national language on non Hindi speaking States and it is apprehended that the requirement to deliver judgments, orders and decrees etc., in Hindi will be treated in no better way.

With the policy of transfer of Judges and Chief Justices from one High Court to another, Judges of the southern States functioning in a northern State will not be able to cope up with the work in the northern States where as delivering judgments and order sin Hindi will present no problem to the Judges of the northern States. Under the conditions prevailing in some of the States in India, it will add to the unrest existing in some parts of the country by giving scope to agitations against such a requirement.

In my view, the conditions in our country are not ripe to make such amendment and to issue directions requiring the High Courts/Supreme Court to start delivery of judgments and orders in Hindi and therefore, for these and many other reasons switching over to dictating judgments, orders, decrees etc., in Hindi will be entirely an exercise in futility."

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

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