The Bombay High Court has set aside a Panvel civil court order, mandating litigants to file all applications and pleas in Marathi.
According to a report in The Times of India, the high court has deemed the order illegal, stating that English remains the language of court, and the Panvel court couldn't arbitrarily drop it.
The high court, however, allowed petitions to be filed in Marathi with an undertaking that an English translation will be made available, if need be. The court made it clear that such restrictions on languages that may cause inconvenience to the general public cannot be imposed.
The order was inconveniencing lawyers, who were not fluent in Marathi and litigants, who had to bear the additional cost of word to word translation to Marathi. "The civil judge had in August 2016 issued circulars and directed all litigants and advocates that all applications and affidavits which are to be filed in the Panvel court should only be in Marathi," The Times of India report stated.
In a similar incident, the Bombay High Court had earlier quashed a Maharashtra government's circular that made Marathi mandatory for new autorickshaw permits. According to a report in The Indian Express, the petitioner in the case had argued that imposing the language barrier would cause public inconvenience as many autorickshaw owners rent out their vehicles to others to drive. The court took cognisance of this argument and ruled that "the state government cannot introduce such conditions in a circular, and said a permit application cannot be disqualified if he does not know Marathi," according to a report in The Hindu.
Updated Date: May 04, 2017 15:40 PM