BANGALORE: In perhaps the first such instance in the State, a judge of the Karnataka High Court rendered a pronouncement in Kannada.
Justice Arali Nagaraj, who was sworn in as an additional judge of the High Court along with two others recently, became the first judge of the High Court to pronounce an order in Kannada.
Kannada is the official language of the State, and Kannada organisations and scholars have been demanding that the High Court too conduct proceedings in the local language.
A few weeks ago, an advocate from Bangalore, Vijay Kumar, sat on a fast before the High Court demanding that he be allowed to argue his case in Kannada. Mr. Kumar, who is the president of the Kannada Rakshana Vakeelira Vedike, and others have been campaigning for increased use of Kannada in courts in the State, including the High Court.
While the High Court has directed subordinate courts to use Kannada, it has been criticised for not having its proceedings in Kannada. The High Court has said that it is bound by the Constitution, which says that English is the language of the High Courts and the Supreme Court.
Though Kannada is widely understood, all proceedings in the High court are in English. Even the case numbers are called in English and arguments too are in that language. The judgments are in English too.