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Regional Branches of Top Court

  • IASbaba
  • May 16, 2022
  • 0
Indian Polity & Constitution
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In news: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has written to Prime Minister and Chief Justice of India on need for regional branches of top court and urging that Tamil be made the official language of Madras High Court

Why there is a demand for regional branches?

  • Pendency of cases: The Supreme Court’s statistics show that 70,362 cases are pending with it as of April 1, 2022
  • Article 39A says that the state shall secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice, on a basis of equal opportunity and it shall ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities.
  • Travelling to New Delhi or engaging expensive Supreme Court counsel to pursue a case is beyond the means of most litigants.
  • Recommendation of Law Commission:
  • The Tenth Law Commission of India (95th Report) recommended The Supreme Court of India should consist of two Divisions, namely (a) Constitutional Division, and (b) Legal Division.
  • Constitutional Division Bench to be set up at Delhi and Legal Division to be set up in four zones (North, South, East and West) of India

Constitutional Provisions

  • The Constitution declares Delhi as the seat of the Supreme Court
  • Article 130 authorizes the CJI to appoint other place or places as seat of the Supreme Court.
  • He can take decision in this regard only with the approval of the President.
  • This provision is only optional and not compulsory. This means that no court can give any direction either to the President or to the Chief Justice to appoint any other place as the seat of the Supreme Court.

Languages of Higher Judiciary

  • Article 348(1) (a) states that unless Parliament by law provides otherwise, all proceedings before the Supreme Court and in every High Court shall be conducted in English.
  • Article 348(2) provides further that notwithstanding the provisions of Article 348(1), the Governor of a state may, with the previous consent of the President, authorize the use of Hindi or any other language used for any official purpose, in proceedings in the High Court.
  • States of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have already authorized the use of Hindi in proceedings before their respective high courts
  • A further provision states that nothing in this clause would apply to any judgment, decree, or order made by the High Court
  • Therefore, the Constitution recognizes English as the primary language of the Supreme Court and the High Courts, with the condition that when some other language is used in the proceedings of High Courts, judgments of the High Courts must be delivered in English.

Official Languages Act 1963:

  • It empowers the Governor of a state to, with previous consent of the President; authorize the use of Hindi/the official language of the state, in addition to English, for the purpose of any judgement, decree or order passed by the High Court of that state.
  • It further provides that where any judgement/decree/order is passed in any such language it shall be accompanied by a translation of the same in English.

Source: Indian Express

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