Law Commission against making Hindi compulsory in Supreme Court

December 26th, 2008 - 9:13 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 26 (IANS) The Law Commission of India has rejected as “non-feasible” a parliamentary panel’s proposal to introduce Hindi as a compulsory language of work in the Supreme Court.In its report submitted to Union Law Minister H.R. Bhardwaj Friday, Law Commission Chairman Justice A.R. Lakshmanan dismissed the proposal.

“Language is a highly emotional issue” and “imposing it on any section of the people against their will would prove to be counter-productive,” said the law panel, rejecting the July 2005 proposal of the Parliamentary panel on official language.

The committee had recommended amending Article 348 of the Constitution, making it mandatory for the Supreme Court and various high courts across the country to start working in Hindi, which involved hearing advocates’ arguments and delivering their verdicts in the same language.

The law commission discarded the idea saying that making Hindi as compulsory language of work in higher judiciary would be inconvenient for both judges and lawyers.

“Language is not merely a vehicle of thought and expression, but for judges at the higher level, it is an integral part of their decision-making process. Judges have to hear and understand the submissions of both the sides and apply the law to adjust equities,” said the Law Commission report.

“Arguments are generally made in higher courts in English and the basic literature under the Indian system is primarily based on English and American text books and case laws,” the report added.

“Thus, judges at the higher level should be left free to evolve their own pattern of delivering judgments,” it said.

The Law Commission, a panel to examine issues involving upgradation of law, pointed out that a high court judge from south India may not be able to understand arguments in Hindi at the apex court if the language is made a compulsory language of work there.

The use of English in all the high courts and the Supreme Court is also convenient for lawyers as they often need to appear in various high courts and the Supreme Court to argue cases of their clients.

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