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Report No. 216

Mr. Arvind Datar, Sr. Advocate

1. The Parliamentary Committee on Official Language has made the following recommendations at Sl.Nos.16.8(d) and 16.8(e):

"16.8(d) Article 348 of the Constitution may be amended to enable the Legislative Department to undertake original drafting in Hindi.

16.8(e) After the amendment of Article 348 of the Constitution, High Courts/Supreme Courts should be asked to start delivering their judgments and decrees, etc. in Hindi so that large number of Government Departments who are carrying out judicial/quasijudicial functions, could be able to delivery orders in Hindi. At present, these departments are unable to pass orders in Hindi, because the appeal against their orders in High Courts/Supreme Court would have to be conducted in English".

2. Historical background: Article 348(1) requires that all proceedings of the Supreme Court and High Court shall be in English language until Parliament by law otherwise provides. Article 348(2) enables the Governor of a State to authorize the use of the Hindi language or any other language used for official purpose in a particular State in proceedings in that High Court. Clause (2) enables a language other than English to be used in a particular High Court.

But the proviso thereof categorically states that the judgment, decree and order will not be affected by such a proviso. In other words, the judgments of the High Courts shall continue to be in English. [It must be noted that the previous consent of the President is required under Article 348(2)].

3. Section 348 is based on Sections 214(5) and 227 of the Government of India Act, 1935 which prescribed English as the language to be used in all proceedings of the Federal Court and the High Courts.

4. Constituent Assembly debates: (to verify and add)

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

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