The High Court of Punjab and Haryana issued notice on a plea challenging the Haryana Government’s decision to make Hindi as the official language for subordinate courts in the state.
A division bench comprising Justice Rajan Gupta and Justice Karamjit Singh was hearing a petition filed by Advocates Sameer Jain, Sandeep Bajaj, Angad Sandhu, Suvigya Awasthi and Anant Gupta challenging section 3A of the Haryana Official Language Act, 1969.
After amending the Act, section 3A mandates the use of Hindi as “sole official language” for work in civil and criminal courts as well as other courts and tribunals in the state.
The petitioners submitted that the objective sought to be achieved from the promulgation is not clear, and the move is ‘arbitrary and unreasonable’. Moreover the provision creates barriers to justice for non-Hindi-speaking citizens, constraining advocates ill-versed with Hindi from appearing before courts.
It was further submitted that the provision acted as a restriction upon the right of an advocate to practice before any court within the territory of India. Moreover the law provides for training to court-staff and officials, but not for advocates.
-India Legal Bureau
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