Tue. Sep 22nd, 2020

Restricted the use of any other language other than English in court proceedings

2 min read

Gujarat
High Court. In
a Criminal Revision Application before it under Section 397 r/w Section 401 of
Cr.P.C., where the applicant wanted to appear party-in-person and present and
argue his case in Hindi before the High Court and had also brought another
friend to assist in Gujarati, the High Court decided against allowing use of
any language other than English to be used in the proceedings before the Court.

The
High Court held that Article 348(1) and (2) of the Constitution of India r/w
Rule 31A and 37 of the Gujarat High Court Rules, 1993 clearly lay down that no
language other than English could be used in a proceeding before it since the
Language of the Court under Article 348(1) is English and Article 348(2) allows
any other language to be used only if there is authorization by the Governor
with previous consent of the President of India to this effect. However there
is no such previous authorization of the Governor, in effect, in State of Gujarat. The High Court
also held that Rule 31A of Gujarat High Court allows a party-in-person to
assist the Court only if he has the ability to both understand and express in
English. The Court can, in specific cases, allow written submissions to be in
Gujarati as laid down in Rule 37; however, oral submissions have always to be
in English only, which is the language of the Court under Article 348(1) of the
Constitution.

The
Court also relied on various Supreme Court judgments to drive home its point
viz. Dr. Vijay Laxmi Sadho v. Jagdish (2001) 2 SCC 247, where the Governor
of M.P., under Article 348(2), with the consent of the President, had
authorized use of Hindi language in the court proceedings. So the language
could be thus used.

However,
in Madhu Limaye v. Ved Murti (1970) 3 SCC 738, when Mr. Raj Narain insisted for
arguing in Hindi and the learned advocate for the other side and the members of
the Bench were unable to understand his argument in Hindi, the Supreme Court
provided three options and since none was acceptable to him, his intervention
was cancelled.  [Manish
Kanaiyalal Gupta v. State of Gujarat
2015 SCC OnLine Guj 932, decided on 8.07.2015]
Source: Legal news India

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