Jharkhand governor asks President to authorize Hindi as language of court proceedings

Ranchi: Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bais has written a letter to the President to authorize Hindi as the language of proceedings of the Jharkhand High Court using the provisions provided in Article 348(2) of the Constitution in the interest of the state and justice.

The governor justified the authorization by saying Hindi is the official language of Jharkhand and most of the people of the state speak and understand Hindi. English is spoken or used in the state by only a minority of people, yet English is the language of proceedings in the High Court of the state and Hindi has not yet been made the language of the Jharkhand High Court using the provisions contained in the constitution.

He mentioned in his letter that while in many states of the country where Hindi is the official language, the Hindi language was implemented as the language of proceedings of the respective high courts. The states he mentioned include Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar. 

The governor giving his justification for authorization said that Jharkhand emerged from undivided Bihar on 15 November 2000. The territories of Jharkhand were under the judicial jurisdiction of the Patna High Court before the formation of the state. Hindi is applicable as the language of court proceedings in the High Court of Integrated Bihar, Patna.

After the formation of Jharkhand, Hindi became the official language here, but Hindi could not be implemented in the Jharkhand High Court as the language of court proceedings, he said. The governor has said that for justice to be accessible and clearly understood by all, it is necessary that the process of justice should be simple and understood by the common man.

English, he said, being the medium of legal procedures in the High Court of a state like Jharkhand makes justice far from the understanding and reach of the common man. He said that Clause (2) of Article 348 provides that the Governor of a State may, with the prior consent of the President, authorize the use of Hindi language or the official language of that State in the proceedings of that High Court.

Now since Hindi is also the official language of Jharkhand, declaring it as the language of proceedings of the high court will be in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. The governor mentioned Article 351 of the Constitution of India in his letter saying instructions had been received for the development of the Hindi language.

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