Gujarat: HC dismisses PIL seeking use of Gujarati in court proceedings
A bench of CJ Sunita Agarwal and Justice Aniruddha Mayee said the petition was “misconceived”
Updated: Aug 23rd, 2023
The high court of Gujarat has dismissed a PIL (public interest litigation) plea seeking direction to allow the use of Gujarati in addition to English in state courts. The bench of chief justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Aniruddha Mayee termed the PIL filed under Article 348 (2), as “misconceived”.
“The CJI’s (Chief Justice of India’s) decision is binding on the HC, so if you have any kind of dispute regarding an administrative decision of the CJI, you have to go to the SC. Therefore, the petition is dismissed since it is misconceived,” CJ Agarwal remarked citing a Supreme Court order from Oct 2012.
Despite the apex court’s decision to disallow Gujarati in 2012, similar pleas have been raised in states such as Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, and Karnataka seeking the use of vernacular languages in court, the PIL had noted.
Reminiscences of the matter
Interestingly, the issue dates back to the 1960s, the cabinet committee sought the CJI’s opinion in 1965 on using regional languages in the government office, the PIL stated.
Since then, the issue has been raised in 1977, in 1991 by the Gujarati Bhasha Samiksha Samiti when the government accepted the plea, and by several leaders including prime minister Narendra Modi, governor Acharya Devvrat, CJI NV Ramana, and home minister Amit Shah, have also suggested the use of Gujarati for the proceedings occasionally.
Those familiar with the issue say that including allowing Gujarati in court would be beneficial to those law practitioners who are not fluent in English.