SC Directs Petitioners To Approach HC On Plea Challenging Use Of ‘Hindi’ As Official Court Language In Haryana

The Supreme Court today has directed petitioners to approach the Punjab & Haryana High Court on a plea challenging the mandatory imposition of Hindi language in Courts of Haryana.

A three- judge Bench led by the Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice Hrishikesh Roy observed that there is no problem if English is allowed to be used with the court’s permission.

A Petition was filed in Supreme Court challenging the mandatory imposition of Hindi as Official Court Language in Haryana under Haryana Official Language Amendment Act, by practising Advocates Sameer Jain, Sandeep Bajaj, Angad Sandhu, Suvigya Awasthi and Anant Gupta against the Haryana Official Language (Amendment) Act, 2020.

The petition states that precluding the use of English which is used widely to conduct legal proceedings has impinged upon the right to freely practice the legal profession and earn a livelihood as guaranteed under Article 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution.

According to the petitioners, the amendment has been made with the assumption that everyone practicing law in Haryana not only know Hindi but are fluent with it, and imposing Hindi on people of the state and making it necessary to get justice is completely irrational. Majority of people in the State of Haryana, which is an industrial hub, are not fluent in Hindi making the amendment completely unfit for the State.

The petitioners also added that imposing Hindi will create problems for practising lawyers since level of fluency and expertise needed to argue and represent a matter in Hindi is much more than a simple understanding of the language.

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