A month after Haryana Cabinet approved introduction of Hindi in subordinate courts in the state, the Vidhan Sabha passed a Bill to pave the wave for implementation of the decision.
As per the Haryana Official Language (Amendment) Bill, 2020, the work will be done in Hindi in all civil courts and criminal courts in Haryana which are subordinate to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, all revenue courts and rent tribunals or any other court or tribunal constituted by the state government. The Bill maintains that the state government will provide the requisite infrastructure and training of staff within six months of the commencement of the Haryana Official Language (Amendment) Act, 2020.
However, Congress MLA B B Batra, a lawyer by profession, insisted that the government must consult the proposal with the High Court administration before its implementation. He also demanded that the Bill be deferred for the time being.
Though, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that they have presented the Bill after due consideration adding that Uttar Pradesh had introduced such system many years back. The Chief Minister said that many times the witnesses don’t know what has been recorded in his or her statement in the court if the same is recorded in English.
According to the government, it had received a demand letter signed by 78 MLAs of Haryana, Advocate General and hundreds of advocates, wherein they had expressed their interest to get Hindi language authorised for use in the courts so that the citizens of Haryana can understand the entire justice process in their own language and can easily put their views before the Courts.
“To spread the propagation of Hindi as the language of the people of the state, it is necessary that this language should be used in our day to day work. The purpose of justice in a democracy is that the plaintiff should get justice quickly in his own language and should not remain speechless during the proceedings,” said the Chief Minister in statement to the Assembly.
The government pointed out Haryana was separated from erstwhile state of Punjab in 1966 on linguistic basis as Hindi is the predominantly spoken language in the area. In 1969, Hindi was declared the official language of Haryana.
While Punjab had then amended the law to introduce Punjabi in all civil courts and criminal courts, subordinate to the High Court of Punjab and Haryana and all revenue courts and tribunals, Haryana had not done so.
“Different regional languages are rapidly replacing English as a medium of instructions and of official work in the states. It is but natural that the predominant languages should secure their rightful place. Hindi being the predominantly spoken language in the state of Haryana, use of the same for the purposes of working in courts and tribunals subordinate to the High Court of Punjab and Haryana has thus become a matter of practical necessity,” said the Chief Minister.
Khattar also reminded about the state Cabinet’s request to the Haryana Governor to take President’s consent to authorise the use of Hindi language, in addition to the English language, for the purpose of proceedings, any judgment, decree or orders passed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court pertaining to Haryana. Seeking introduction of Hindi in the proceedings of High Court, the Haryana government had offered to provide required infrastructure including the translators for the purpose.
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