Par panel bats for use of Hindi and other regional languages in HCs

New Delhi: A parliamentary committee has pitched for the use of Hindi and other regional languages in high courts, saying the Constitution gives the Centre enough powers in this regard without a need to consult the judiciary. At present proceedings are held and orders are delivered in English in the Supreme Court and the 24 high courts of the country.

The Centre had received proposals for use of Bengali, Tamil, Gujarati, Hindi and Kannada in the high courts of Calcutta, Madras, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka, respectively. However, all the proposals were rejected by the full bench of the Supreme Court on October 11, 2012 which reiterated its earlier similar resolutions adopted in 1997 and 1999 to not accept the requests of change in languages.

“… Scheduled languages other than English may be permitted to be used in the high courts, provided it is demanded by the state government concerned,” the department- related standing committee on Law and Personnel said. Citing Article 348 of the Constitution, it said “… The consultation process with judiciary is not required as the constitutional provisions are amply clear on the use of scheduled languages in the high courts…,” the committee said in its latest report tabled in Parliament this month.

The judiciary is consulted for change in language of any high courts after the Union Cabinet had, on May 21, 1965, adopted a convention to seek the views of the Chief Justice of India before taking any such decision. The committee also asked the government to take an early call on a July, 2016 draft Cabinet note which had said that either the Cabinet convention adopted in 1965 is reconsidered and it is decided that the consultation of Chief Justice of India is not necessary before the President gives his consent for use of Hindi/other regional languages, or the Cabinet convention is continued with.