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Report No. 216

Hon'ble Mr. Justice K.T. Thomas

"Thank you for the letter dated 8.10.07. The recommendations of the Committee of Parliament on Official Language, as extracted in your letter suggest for change over of the language in the Supreme Court and the High Courts.

Article 348 of the Constitution mandates that all proceedings in the Supreme Court and in very High Court shall be in English language until Parliament otherwise provides by law. The question is whether Parliament should provide a different language for the Supreme Court and the High Courts when English is being followed for the last 57 years.

It is a historical advantage gained by the Indian judicial system to have the use of a language which is almost the language of the Judicial world now. That apart, when computers have adopted English as the medium of transmission, we should not divest ourselves of the benefit of that language. English language has now ceased to be a mere mother tongue of the small country of England.

If Supreme Court and High Courts are to switch over to Hindi, what advantage will such a change bring for Indian judiciary? I find none. On the other hand, the multiple disadvantages which it might bring forth would even paralyse the judicial system, because ninety percent of the advocates belonging to the High Court of southern states cannot transact any legal work in Hindi. Not even one stenographer is available in many states of the High Courts in southern states who can take down dictation in Hindi much less to transcribe them into manuscripts.

All the law books remaining in various High Courts including all the law journals are in English language and translation of all those books would involve crores of rupees. When we do not have sufficient money to meet the urgent needs of the poor people, it would be a waste of public money in spending whopping sum simply for satisfying a few of the linguistic jingoists.

That apart, a switch over from English to Hindi in the High Courts and the Supreme Court of India will create political and legal unrest throughout the country which is an avoidable exercise."

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

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