The Supreme Court has been moved for a direction to the Centre to conduct a feasibility study of using Tamil and other regional languages in the High courts and Supreme Court with simultaneous language translation through audio system as was being done in Parliament.
The petition filed by All India Junior Advocates Association also wanted a direction to the Centre to do complete justice to the lawyers in Tamil Nadu who are demanding introduction of Tamil as court language.
The Association President N. Raja Raman, who has filed the petition in public interest, said that under Article 348 of the Constitution, the Governor with the assent of the President could permit the use of regional language as the court language of the High Court. This was being done in four High Courts and Hindi was being used as the court language. Depriving the lawyers in Tamil Nadu of arguing the case in Tamil violated their right to practice, the petition said.
The Tamil Nadu government's proposal for making Tamil as the court language was pending consideration with the Union Home Ministry for over six months. It pointed out that the Bar Council of India had permitted law students to take their degree examination in regional languages. While so, failure of the Centre to allow lawyers to argue their cases in the regional languages in the respective High Courts affected their fundamental right.
It said that in Parliament and in several other important international conferences, it was common knowledge that participants and those who watched the proceedings would be able to hear simultaneous English translation through the audio system provided in the hall. A similar audio system could be introduced in the High Courts and the Supreme Court, the petition said and sought a direction in this regard. The petition noted that if regional languages could not be used as a court language the BCI should be asked to conduct the law degree courses only in English or Hindi.