The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh last week dismissed a petition seeking to make Hindi the official language in the two Union Territories, Bar and Bench reported on Friday.

On October 28, a bench comprising Chief Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul observed that it fell within powers of the executive to designate official languages, Live Law reported.

The petitioner, Jagdev Singh, had sought recognition of Hindi as the official language in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh under article 343 (the official language of the Union shall be Hindi) and 251 (inconsistency between laws made by Parliament and laws made by the Legislatures of States) of the Constitution.

Before the Centre abrogated the Articles 370 and 35A allowing the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir state on August 5, 2019, the official language of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir State was Urdu. The official records of the erstwhile state made by the Legislative Assembly are either in Urdu or in English, reported The New Indian Express.

In September 2020, the Centre had passed the Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Act allowing for the inclusion of Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi, in addition to Urdu and English, in the list of official languages in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.