Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bombay High Court can’t comprehend Marathi!

Vinayak Kulkarni was in for a shock when his appeal was rejected because it did not have an English translation attached to it! Why does a court in Maharashtra not accept pleas in local language? Do poor locals have to spend money on getting their pleas translated in English? This happens only in Maharashtra…

3M presumes because it is ‘Bombay’ High Court… not ‘Mumbai’ High Court!

1 comment:

Vishwas said...

Came across your blog while surfing for some news relating to Belguam boundary dispute. Kudos to you guys!

It is highly regrettable position that the "Bombay" HC has chosen to adopt. I'm saying this despite the fact that though I'm well conversant in Marathi, I am not that famililar with all the legal terminology in Marathi. This is one of the arguments raised for not having Marathi as the official language. It may be true that even Marathi-speaking advocates, especially in Mumbai may not be comfortable in litigating in Marathi, however, the litigants and advocates who wish to do so should be entitled to do so.

Another argument is that the office of the High Court judge is transferable and judges from outside Maharashtra cannot be expected to pick up Marathi, leave alone complex legal jargon. However, it clearly ignores the actual position. Justices Deshmukh, Gavai, Karnik, Devdhar,Dharmadhikari, Deshpande, and host of others are all well-learned and competent to understand Marathi too.

The Bar Council of Maharashtra & Goa has already passed a resolution to the effect that Marathi should be the official language of Bombay High Court.

However, in my opinion, the ball is actually in the 'court' of the State Govt, and the High Court. Art. 348 of the Constitution states that the official language of High Court shall be English unless the Governor of the State authorizes another language, with the approval of the President.

It is no doubt that the judges of the High Court, especially the Hon'ble Chief Justice will have some influence if the Government does decide to move in this direction and the present Chief Justice, (Justice Shah) being a Gujarati, the status quo may just continue, but this is one change, along with the name of the High Court itself, which is long overdue.


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