Special Correspondent

  • Judges who know only English are exempted
  • Law books to be translated into Tamil

    CHENNAI: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said on Wednesday that the Government would take "appropriate steps" to make Tamil the language used in Madras High Court proceedings.

    Addressing presspersons here, he said that according to the Constitution, English was the only language to be used in courts. Therefore, all Madras High Court proceedings were in English.

    But Article 348 (2) stated that court proceedings could be held in the regional languages after taking the President's consent and enacting appropriate legislation.

    Asked if the proceedings would only be in Tamil once appropriate sanctions were given, Mr. Karunanidhi said that judges who knew only English would be exempted from using Tamil.

    On translating law books into Tamil, he said arrangements would be done to the extent possible.

    When pointed out that it would only add to the delay in proceedings, he said that there was delay even otherwise.

    Some people had delayed proceedings under the pretext of wanting the proceedings translated into Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam and English, he said.

    Mullaperiyar issue

    Asked to comment on the Kerala's stand that there should no discussion on increasing the level of water in Mullaperiyar dam, Mr. Karunanidhi said Tamil Nadu was participating in the talks in deference to Supreme Court directions. "I cannot speculate on anything else now," he said.

    On Kerala's demand for a new dam to be built, Mr. Karunanidhi said raising such issues ahead of the talks and blowing the issue out of proportion were not civil.

    Commenting on the demand of Congress MLAs to be inducted into the Ministry, Mr. Karunanidhi said that he respected freedom of speech.

    Asked for his views on the agitation planned by the Pattali Makkal Katchi coinciding with the visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, he said that since each political party was exhibiting its feelings in its own manner on the issue, those responsible should realise that this was a reflection of the feelings of the entire Tamil society.

    Replying to another question on what he had told Prime Minister, Mr. Karunandhi said that the Sri Lankan Government should explore the path to peace that did not involve suppression of Tamils there.

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