A group of lawyers have started a signature campaign in the Delhi High Court of Delhi and the five district courts of the Capital, requesting that they be allowed to argue their cases in Hindi also apart from the English.
“We have received a huge response from the lawyers and collected over 3,000 signatures so far to support our campaign,” said Ashok Aggarwal, president of the Delhi unit of lawyers’ association.
The signature campaign began earlier this week in the five district courts and reached the high court on Friday.
After collecting signatures from the lawyers’ fraternity, the group will urge the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court to allow them to present their cases in Hindi as it is the national language.
“Even in our Constitution, Article 19(A) says that everyone can express himself in any language and denying the use of Hindi in courts is a violation of this fundamental right,” Aggarwal said.
“When lawyers argue in Hindi, judges do not pay attention to them and English has become a status symbol,” he added.
Moreover, Article 348 of the Constitution provides for arguing court cases in English as well as regional languages, Aggarwal pointed out.
A few moths ago, district and sessions judge Mamta Sehgal had issued a circular and made it clear to subordinate judges that they must gauge the court employees, proficiency in Hindi and the use of the language in their work.
In fact, lower courts have an Hindi Implementation Centre, specially created for helping with the use of the language in courts.
Hindi is being used in the high courts of Rajasthan, Allahabad and Madhya Pradesh, but not in the national Capital, according to the lawyers’ union.