Languages and Eighth Schedule

English is the language of Court: Gujarat HC


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Article 348

Mains level: Official language of Judiciary

A Division Bench of the Gujarat High Court has asked a convict to speak only in English as that was the language in the higher judiciary referring to Article 348 of the Constitution which mandates that the language of the High Court would be English.

What is Article 348?

  • It provides for languages to be used in the Supreme Court and in the High Courts and for Acts, Bills, etc
  • Article 348 (1) provides that all proceedings in the Supreme Court and in every High court shall be in English Language until Parliament by law otherwise provides.
  • Under Article 348 (2), the Governor of the State may, with the previous consent of the President, authorize the use of the Hindi language or any other language used for any official purpose of the State.
  • It states that in the proceedings of the High Court having its principal seat in that State provided that decrees, judgments or orders passed by such High Courts shall be in English.

When is use of other languages permitted?

  • Section 7 of the Official Languages Act, 1963, provides that the use of Hindi or official language of a State in addition to the English language may be authorized.
  • This has to be done with the consent of the President of India, by the Governor of the State for purpose of judgments etc. made by the High Court for that State.


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