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Government mulls making Marathi official language of HC

Maharashtra government is considering a proposal to make Marathi the official language of Bombay High Court, the state assembly was informed.

Bombay High Court1“As per section 348 (2) of the Indian constitution, there is a proposal to make Marathi the HC’s official language,” Minister for Marathi language Vinod Tawde informed Yogesh Sagar (BJP) and others in a written reply.

In 1998, the state government had ordered that Marathi should be official language in all civil and criminal courts in the state, the minister said.

A division bench of Justice FI Rebello and Justice RM Sawant, while hearing a case related to admissions in medical colleges in May 2006, had ruled that not Marathi, but English is the official language of the high court, and hence, the Marathi documents annexed to the petitions should be translated into English.

Justice Rebello had in a landmark judgment ruled that even under Constitution of India, the official language of all the high courts and the Supreme Court is English. The appellate side rules also make use of English mandatory in documentation.

In March 2009, a division bench of Justice S B Mhase and Justice D G Karnik, however, had ruled that the local language should be given importance in the justice delivery system.

Justice Mhase had ruled that “justice delivery system should be easily accessible to citizens,” and “justice should be delivered at the lowest possible cost”.

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