Reply in English to representations in English, Madras HC to Centre

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The court also directed the Union government and all its instrumentalities to follow the Official Languages Act, especially its Section 3, which says that both the Hindi and English languages should be used for the official documents…reports Asian Lite News.

The Madras High Court on Thursday directed the Central government to respond in English to a representation in English, and follow the provisions of the Official Languages Act, 1963, strictly.

“Once a representation is given in English, it is the duty of the Union government to reply in English only,” it said.

The direction by a division bench of the High Court’s Madurai bench comprising of Justices N. Kirubakaran and Justice M. Duraiswamy came on a Public Interest Litigation filed by Madurai MP, Su Venkitasan, seeking English alone be used in all communications between the Centre and state governments.

Venkitasan had approached the court after the Minister of State for Home had replied to his letter, seeking setting up of examination centres for CRPF paramedical staff recruitment at Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, in Hindi only.

Justice Kirubakaran, citing Article 350 of the Constitution, said that every person is entitled to give representation in any languages used in the Union or the state. He said that once a question is given in English, it is the duty of the Union government to reply in English only. He added that this was in consonance with the Official Languages Act.

The court also directed the Union government and all its instrumentalities to follow the Official Languages Act, especially its Section 3, which says that both the Hindi and English languages should be used for the official documents.

Justice Kirubakaran also said: ” There are several languages in India which are hundreds or even thousands of years old” and that governments should take efforts to preserve the language.

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