A petition seeking a direction to the Centre to take steps to declare Hindi as India’s national language was on Monday withdrawn from Delhi High Court after it said the Constitution does not provide for a national language. “There is no dispute that Constitution of India has not provided for a national language,” a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal observed.
“Please show us the provision in the Constitution which speaks about national language,” the bench told the petitioner. After hearing submissions on the plea, the bench reserved its verdict, saying “we will consider this and pass an appropriate order.”
However, petitioner advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay later withdrew his petition and told the bench that he would make a representation before Ministry of Home Affairs on the issue. “Please permit me to withdraw the plea,” he said after the bench reserved the judgement. The court then allowed him to withdraw the petition.
During the brief hearing, the counsel appearing for the Centre told the court that the plea was “premature”. The plea also sought a direction to the government to make Hindi a compulsory subject for all children aged 6-14 years across the country.
Maintaining that Hindi could be common means of communication in the country, the plea had claimed that “Hindi is the language spoken by majority of Indians and it has the potential of being used as an economic, religious and political communication link among all the citizens”. “Under Article 351 (of the Constitution), Union Government is duty bound to promote and propagate Hindi language so that it may serve as a medium of expression for all the elements of the composite culture of India and to secure its enrichment,” the plea had said.