PIL in SC challenges imposition of Hindi as official court language in Haryana : The Tribune India

PIL in SC challenges imposition of Hindi as official court language in Haryana

Creates an unreasonable classification between Hindi, non-Hindi speaking advocates, say petitioners

PIL in SC challenges imposition of Hindi as official court language in Haryana

They said imposition of Hindi was not fit for the state as it was an industrial hub and home to multi-national companies.



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 27

The Haryana government’s decision to enforce use of Hindi language in all courts and tribunals across the state has been challenged in the Supreme Court.

According to The Haryana Official Language (Amendment) Act, 2020, “In all Civil Courts and Criminal Courts in Haryana subordinate to the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, all revenue Courts and Rent Tribunals or any other court or tribunal constituted by the State Government, work shall be done in Hindi language.”

Notified earlier this month, the amendment says the State Government shall provide the requisite infrastructure and training of staff within six months for the commencement of the amended Act.

Five lawyers have challenged the validity of the Haryana Official Language (Amendment) Act, 2020, terming it  “arbitrarily” on the ground that it created an unreasonable classification between Hindi and non-Hindi speaking advocates. Petitioners Sameer Jain, Sandeep Bajaj, Angad Sandhu, Suvigya Awasthi and Anant Gupta urged the court to strike down the amendment.

They said the amendment was with the assumption that everyone practising law in Haryana not only knew Hindi but was also fluent in it. To say that imposition of Hindi was for people of the state and necessary to get justice was “wholly irrational”, they added. 

They said level of fluency and expertise needed to argue a matter in Hindi was much higher than just a simple understanding of the language.

“English is a widely spoken language in our country and precluding its use before various Subordinate Courts is manifestly arbitrary with no legal rationale and having far reaching consequences for the people living and working in the State of Haryana,” they said.

Contending that the amendment precluded the use of English which was used widely to conduct legal proceedings, the petitioners said, “This 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.”

They said imposition of Hindi was not fit for the state as it was an industrial hub and home to multi-national companies, where people from every strata of the society reside and majority of them were not fluent in Hindi.

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