The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Mr. M K Stalin on Saturday urged the Chief Justice of India Justice NV Ramana to consider allowing Tamil, the official language of the state of Tamil Nadu to be used in the High Court of Madras.
Mr Stalin was speaking at a function organised for laying the foundation stone for the 9- storey administrative block of the High Court.
Highlighting that the litigants have to travel all the way to Delhi for seeking justice, the CM also pushed for setting up of a bench of Supreme court at Chennai.
“To meet needs of people of south who need have to go to New Delhi to get Justice, I’d like to mention the long pending request of constituting a bench of SC at Chennai. My another request is allowing official language of state-Tamil to be used in Madras High Court. Already 4 states, Rajasthan,UP, MP Bihar use their official language of state in High Court. This is a long pending request. I place this request on behalf of people of state”, the CM said.
He also suggested bringing in social Justice in the appointment of judges to the High Court and the Supreme Court. He suggested that there was a need to bring in the Principle of Inclusiveness in the appointment of judges to the higher judiciary.
“I’ve an important request for the CJI’s consideration. In appointment of judges to High Court & Supreme Court, the Collegium may kindly ensure that principles of social justice along with other parameters are followed. The principles of inclusiveness be ensured in higher judiciary”.
In his address, the CJI mentioned the topic of using local languages in High Courts.
“There are some barriers that have prevented local languages being adopted in HC proceedings. I’m sure in innovation or science & technology, advancements such as AI, some of issues associated with introduction of languages may be solved in near future”, CJI Ramana said.
The CJI also mentioned that a private member Bill was introduced in the Parliament by Senior Advocate and Rajya Sabha MP P Wilson seeking regional benches for the Supreme Court. “I’m not aware if the Government has expressed its views on subject”, the CJI said.
Official Language Of Courts
Article 348(1) of the Constitution of India provides that all proceedings in the Supreme Court and in every High Court shall be in English language until Parliament by law otherwise provides.
Article 348 (2) provides that the Governor of the State may, with the previous consent of the President, authorize the use of the Hindi language or any other language used for any official purpose of the State, in the proceedings of the High Court having its principal seat in that State provided that decrees, judgments or orders passed by such High Courts shall be in English.
The Official Language Act, 1963 reiterates this and provides under Section 7 that the use of Hindi or official language of a State in addition to the English language may be authorized, with the consent of the President of India, by the Governor of the State for the purpose of judgments, decrees etc. made by the High Court for that State.
As per a decision of Cabinet Committee taken in 1965, the comments of the Chief Justice of India are necessary before considering any proposal for use of Hindi or any Regional language in the proceedings of a High Court.
The use of Hindi has been authorized long back in the proceedings as well in the judgments, decrees or orders in the High Courts of the States of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Government of India had received proposals from the Government of Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Karnataka to permit use of Tamil, Gujarati, Hindi, Bengali and Kannada in the proceedings of the Madras High Court, Gujarat High Court, Chhattisgarh High Court, Calcutta High Court and Karnataka High Court respectively. The advice of the Chief Justice of India was sought on these proposals as per a decision of Cabinet Committee taken in 1965 which provides that comments of the Chief Justice of India are necessary before considering any proposal for use of Hindi or any Regional language in the proceedings of a High Court. The Chief Justice of India vide his d.o. dated 16.10.2012 intimated that the Full Court, after due deliberations, decided not to accept the proposals. The Government has abided by the decision of the Supreme Court.
Based on another request from the Government of Tamil Nadu, the Government requested the Chief Justice of India to review the earlier decisions in this regard vide. letter dated 04.07.2014 and convey the consent of the Supreme Court of India. Hon’ble the Chief Justice of India vide his d.o. letter dated 18.01.2016 conveyed that the Full Court, after extensive deliberations disapproved the proposal and reiterated the earlier decisions of the Court (source : Department of Justice).