The Madras High Court on Friday recorded the submission of Tamil Nadu government that it would translate in Tamil the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ), 2019 notification issued by the Centre in English and Hindi. The submission was made to help the fishermen community understand the clauses of the notification.
Chief Justice S.V. Gangapurwala and Justice P.D. Audikesavalu recorded the submission made by Advocate General R. Shunmugasundaram and suggested all other notifications issued by the Centre in English and Hindi alone could be translated into Tamil by the State government for the benefit of the local populace.
The suggestion was made during the hearing of a public interest litigation petition filed by G. Joseph, secretary of Ramanathapuram fishworkers trade union, seeking a direction both to the Centre as well as the State government to come up with an official translation of the CRZ 2019 notification in Tamil.
Finding force in his submission, the judges told the A-G that though the petitioner himself could translate the notification in Tamil and circulate it among the fishermen, there was no guarantee of the translation being perfect. Therefore, the State government could always come up with official translations of such notifications, they said.
The petitioner’s counsel told the court the CRZ 2019 notification was directly concerned with the livelihood of fishermen but most of them in Tamil Nadu were unable to understand it because it had been published only in English and Hindi by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
“It is patently unjust to issue a notification in a language the people cannot read or understand and expect them to protect and preserve their rights guaranteed under it. Only if the notification is published in regional languages too, can the fishermen effectivery pafticipate in the process of preparation of the Coastal Zone Management Plan,” he said.