Supreme Court Rejects Plea To Allow Use Of Gujarati As Additional Language In Gujarat High Court
Today, on November 28, the Supreme Court declined to consider a petition advocating for Gujarati to be recognized as an additional language for court hearings in the Gujarat High Court.The petition was presented before a Division Bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and SVN Bhatti.Initially, the petitioner, Rohit Jayantilal Patel, approached the Gujarat High Court seeking a directive...
Today, on November 28, the Supreme Court declined to consider a petition advocating for Gujarati to be recognized as an additional language for court hearings in the Gujarat High Court.
The petition was presented before a Division Bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and SVN Bhatti.
Initially, the petitioner, Rohit Jayantilal Patel, approached the Gujarat High Court seeking a directive against the State Government to implement the then Governor's 2012 decision, which allowed the use of the Gujarati language alongside English in court proceedings before the High Court. The High Court dismissed the plea, terming it 'misconceived.'
To provide context, after the state assembly and cabinet committee approved the use of the Gujarati language in the High Court, the matter was sent to the State's Governor. Following her approval, the matter was forwarded to the Supreme Court for its comments. In 2012, the Supreme Court, through its decision on the administrative side of the Chief Justice of India, expressed disapproval.
The petitioner contested this decision, arguing initially that the Supreme Court had no role in the matter. The PIL also challenged the 1965 resolution of the Cabinet Committee introducing the role of the Chief Justice of India in the matter of using regional languages in the High Court.
The High Court rejected the prayer, stating, "The issue, if any, can be raised by the writ petitioner would not fall within the realm of jurisdiction of this court.... Even a decision of the CJI taken on the administrative side is binding on the High Court so if you have any kind of dispute regarding an administrative decision of the CJI, you have to go to the Supreme Court."
During today's proceedings, the petitioner's counsel argued that the High Court possesses unlimited jurisdiction, and judicial review is a fundamental aspect of the basic structure. Justice Khanna responded that access to justice is not affected by the absence of Gujarati and questioned the significance of the argument.
Despite attempts by the counsel to convince the bench, Justice Khanna reiterated that the bench is not entitled to entertain the prayer, emphasizing that there is no denial of access to justice.
“We are very clear. There is no withdrawal of access of Justice....Look, the things have worked., People have the right to access to justice. We go out of the way in case of there is any person facing difficulty. We Do that. We also hear arguments wherever required by the petitioners-in-person in the vernacular," Justice Khanna said.
The petition was subsequently dismissed as withdrawn.
Case Title: ROHIT JAYANTILAL PATEL vs. STATE OF GUJARAT and others