Hindi cannot be thrust as an official language for court proceedings-Govt

It is not possible to make Hindi an official language for conducting court proceedings in higher judiciary, the government told the Supreme Court earlier this week.

Stating that it had no intentions of thrusting any language upon judges, the government defended its stand on the issue by adding that doing so would hamper judicial work. The Union Law ministry seemed to have relied heavily on the 18th Law Commission report that also came to the same conclusion about the unfeasibility of making Hindi compulsory in the Supreme Court.

“At any rate no language should be thrust upon the judges of the higher judiciary and they should be left free to deliver their judgments in the language they prefer. It is important to remember that every citizen, every court has the right to understand the law laid down finally by this court and at present one should appreciate that such language is only English,” the government said in its affidavit.

The affidavit stated it categorically introduction of Hindi as a compulsory language will severely impact the quality of judges and their judgments.

“It (English) 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 submission of both the sides, apply the law to adjust their equities. Arguments are generally made in higher court in English and the basic literature under the Indian system is primarily based on English and American text books and case laws. Thus judges at the higher level should be left free to evolve own pattern of delivering judgments,” it said.

The central government had filed its response after being asked by the apex court to clarify its stand on the issue.

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