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CHENNAI: The Tamil language could be introduced in the High Court as an additional language only in a phased manner, former Judge, Supreme Court and Chairman, Law Commission of India, AR.Lakshmanan said here on Sunday. Addressing a seminar on Court language-Tamil organized by Sattakadir, a Tamil law magazine and Madras Development Society, Lakshmanan said Tamil could not be introduced all of a sudden but was possible in a phased manner. “Before introducing Tamil as an additional language in the High Court, the government should set up an Official Language Committee to go into various aspects related to the issue,” he said. Stressing that Tamil should be given its rightful place in all areas including the higher judiciary, the Law Commission chief said certain issues needed consideration before this could be done. “However, no language should be thrust upon the Judges of the higher judiciary and they should be left free to deliver their judgments in the language they prefer.” The Tamil Nadu government should also set up State Law Commission for law reforms. Hindi as court language: Though the Committee of Parliament on Official Language (CoPoOL) has called for an amendment of Article 348 favouring Hindi, the collective opinion of the best legal minds in the country is otherwise. The issue is now before the Law Commission for suitable recommendations to the President. ‘In my opinion, the objection to the recommendation of CoPoOL would be based on the doctrine of violation of the basic structure of the Constitution.’ The language issue should not be precipitated into a kind of political rivalry. No linguistic imposition of any kind could be made upon any judge of the Supreme or High Courts. Article 348: Article 348, sub-clause (2) empowers the Governor of a State with the prior consent of the President of India to authorise the use of Hindi or any other language in the proceedings of a High Court. However, this does not apply to the judgment, decree or order passed by the High Court. It is obvious that the power conferred by clause (2) of Article 348 to authorize the use of Hindi [or any other language] is limited to pleadings, documents and perhaps oral arguments only, the former Supreme Court Judge said. Hopeful of approval: Addressing the inaugural session, Law Minister Durai Murugan said the litigant public would be benefited if the court proceedings were conducted in Tamil. “We are fully hopeful that the Union government would accord sanction for it .
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