India: Hindi to be courts' verdict language?

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Wed Sep 24 14:15:20 UTC 2008

Hindi to be courts' verdict language

New Delhi: Should judgements in Supreme Court and High Courts be
written in Hindi instead of English? This question has come up before
Law Commission of India which is likely to submit a report shortly on
whether the language of the Supreme Court and High Courts in writing
judgements should be changed to Hindi. While according to the
Article-348 of the Constitution, the language of the apex court and
High Courts is English, a Parliamentary Committee had recommended that
it should be converted to Hindi.

"The report on the issue will be submitted to the Minister of Law and
Justice shortly," Chairman of the Commission Justice A R Lakshmanan
said. After the Law Ministry referred the matter to Commission
Chairman Justice A R Lakshmanan, views of eminent jurists and retired
chief justices of the Supreme Court, retired judges of the Supreme
Court and High Courts and senior lawyers were invited.

According to a draft prepared on the issue by the Commission, a bulk
of the respondents were of the view that the language of the higher
courts should not be changed to Hindi, as recommended by a
Parliamentary Committee. Eminent jurists, retired judges of the SC and
HCs and senior lawyers were of the view that the language of the
courts, particularly the Supreme Court and High Courts should continue
to be English as the time was not ripe to change the language to
Hindi. (PTI)

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