Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju told Parliament on Friday that the Supreme Court declined to accept proposals to introduce local languages in the functioning of respective High Courts in some states.
Lok Sabha MP PR Natarajan had asked whether the Centre has received any requests from states for the use of regional languages in their respective High Courts. The MP had also asked for details of the action taken on such requests.
Rijiju said that the Centre has received such proposals from the governments of Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Karnataka to permit use of Tamil, Gujarati, Hindi, Bengali and Kannada in the proceedings of High Courts.
The law minister said that in 1965, a Cabinet Committee had decided that the consent of the chief justice of India has to be obtained on any proposal relating to the use of a language other than English in High Courts.
“The Chief Justice of India conveyed that the Full Court, after extensive deliberations decided not to approve the proposal and reiterated the earlier decisions of the Hon’ble Court,” Rijiju said. He also gave details of how the use of Hindi in the proceedings of the High Courts of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar have been approved over the years in consultation with the chief justice.
The Centre and the Bar Council of India have constituted the Bharatiya Bhasha Samiti, chaired by former Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, to develop a Common Core Vocabulary close to all Indian languages for the purpose of translating legal material into regional languages, Rijiju said.
At an event in Chennai last year, NV Ramana, who was then the country’s chief justice, had noted that certain barriers have prevented local languages from being adopted for the proceedings of High Courts. “I am sure with the innovation in science and technology, the advancement such as artificial intelligence, some of the issues associated with the introduction of languages in the High Courts may be solved in the near future,” he had said.