Madras High Court Directs Union Government To “Reply In English”

After receiving a reply in Hindi from the Union Home ministry in response to a query regarding setting up examination centres for CRPF recruitment in Tamil nadu, Madurai MP, Su Venkatesan, in his plea, sought a direction to the Centre that it should use only English language in all communication between Central and state governments. On hearing his plea, Justices N Kirubakaran and M Duraisamy, cited the Official Language Act and directed the centre to give reply in English if the representation is made in the same language and ruled it as a “duty” of the union government to do so.

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Justices who heard the plea filed by filed by Madurai CPI-M MP Su Venkatesan, said that every person was entitled to give representation in any language that is used in Union or the state, according to the constitution. They also pointed out the Official Languages Act which directs the same. The bench, reportedly said, “It is the duty of the union government to reply in English if the representation was given in that language”

It all started when the MP received reply in Hindi language from the union home ministry while getting a response to a query regarding setting up examination centres for CRPF recruitment in Tamil nadu. Mr, Venkatesan decided to approach the court, seeking direction to the centre that it should only use English language in all communications between central and state governments.

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Madurai MP Venkatesan

Citing Article 350 of constitution, Justice Prabhakaran said that every person is entitled to give representation in any language that is used in centre or state but once the representation is made in English, it is the duty of the union government to “reply in English”.

According to reports, the court also directed the government and all its instrumentalities to follow the Official Languages act, especially section 3 which says that both Hindi and English could be used for the official documents. Justice Kirubakaran also added that there are several languages in India which hundreds or even thousands of years old and asked governments to take efforts to preserve them.

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