A group of five advocates practising out of courts in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana have challenged the Constitutionality of the Haryana Official Language (Amendment) Act, 2020 which is contended to have “arbitrarily” made Hindi as the official language of courts in Haryana.
Lawyers Sameer Jain, Sandeep Bajaj, Angad Sandhu, Suvigya Awasthi and Anant Gupta have assailed an Amendment made to Section 3A of the Haryana Official Languages Act, 1969.
The petitioners contended highlighting Hindi language,
“English is a widely spoken language in our country and precluding its use before various Subordinate Courts is manifestly arbitrary with no legal rationale and having far reaching consequences for the people living and working in the State of Haryana.”
“It precludes the use of English which is used widely to conduct legal proceedings. This has impinged upon the right to freely practice the legal profession and earn a livelihood as guaranteed under Article 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution,” stated the plea.
The amendment is with the assumption that everyone practicing law in Haryana not only know Hindi but are fluent with it. The amendment stating that imposing Hindi is for people of the state and necessary to get justice is “wholly irrational.” said the petition.
Highlighting how mandatory Hindi could be problematic for lawyers, the plea stated that
“level of fluency and expertise needed to argue and represent a matter in Hindi is much more than a simple understanding of the language.”