Demanding To Make Tamil Official Language Of Court Not Illegal: Madras High Court Allows Lawyer To Go On Indefinite Fast

Upasana Sajeev

21 Feb 2024 4:30 AM GMT

  • Demanding To Make Tamil Official Language Of Court Not Illegal: Madras High Court Allows Lawyer To Go On Indefinite Fast

    The Madras High Court recently allowed a lawyer to go on a hunger strike demanding to make Tamil an official language of the High Court. The court thus allowed the lawyer to conduct the indefinite fasting near Rajarathinam, stadium from February 28th 2024. Justice Anand Venkatesh observed that the lawyer had only intended to express himself strongly and there was nothing illegal...

    The Madras High Court recently allowed a lawyer to go on a hunger strike demanding to make Tamil an official language of the High Court. The court thus allowed the lawyer to conduct the indefinite fasting near Rajarathinam, stadium from February 28th 2024.

    Justice Anand Venkatesh observed that the lawyer had only intended to express himself strongly and there was nothing illegal in the objective.

    β€œThe petitioner wants to express himself strongly demanding Tamil to be used as official language in the proceedings in the High Court. There is nothing illegal in this objective. Hence, permission can be granted subject to the following conditions,” the court noted.

    The court thus asked the petitioner Bhagavath Singh to give an undertaking that he would not initiate violence while organising the meetings in connection with the indefinite strike and to co-operate with the police to ensure law and order. The court also asked him to provide details of other members who would be joining the indefinite fasting.

    The court also made it clear that of any leader wanted to extend support to the fasting and speak by arranging a meeting near the venue of fasting, prior intimation should be given to the jurisdictional police and permission be taken.

    The court gave liberty to the Commissioner of Police to impose other conditions for ensuring law and order and to take appropriate action against anyone for any illegal activity under the guise of supporting the cause.

    When the case was previously taken up, Justice G Jayachandran, who was then holding the portfolio, had expressed strong views against lawyers going on fast. The judge had remarked that there was no point in going on strike and what was needed was to make efforts to translate law books and judgments into Tamil. The judge had even remarked that he did not endorse such life-threatening agitations.

    Counsel for the Petitioner: Mr.R.Sankarasubbu

    Counsel for the Respondents: Mr.A.Gopinath Government Advocate [Crl.side]

    Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Mad) 77

    Case Title: G Bhagavath Singh v The Commissioner of Police

    Case No: Writ Petition No.34716 of 2023


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