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Madras High Court quashes circular permitting English in lower court orders

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - 00:15

Madurai: The Madras High Court bench here on Tuesday set aside a 1994 high court circular which permitted lower courts to write judgements in either English or Tamil.

A division bench, comprising Justice V.Ramasubramanian and Justice V.M.Velumani, held the circular gave the impression that presiding officers of lower courts could permanently write their judgements in English, which was illegal.

The subordinate court judges and staff should learn Tamil if they did not know. The objective of the circular was to give time to Judges to learn the language. But they could not permanently write their orders in English, the bench said.
They said the Tamil Nadu Official Languages Act, 1956, was amended on November 12, 1976, and Sections 4-A and 4-B were introduced in it, thus declaring Tamil the language of all subordinate courts in the state for recording evidence as well as writing judgments, decrees and orders.

It was also against the Constitution as it had permitted the state government to have their official language. Tamil had been declared the official language of Tamil Nadu.

The Judges were allowing a petition filed by a third party to review a judgment passed by it on February 22, 2013, upholding the validity of the circular.

First Published: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - 00:15
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