'Hindi national language, communicate before Uttar Pradesh court in…,' says SC | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

'Hindi national language, communicate before Uttar Pradesh court in…,' says SC

By | Edited by Chandrashekar Srinivasan
Aug 04, 2023 03:08 PM IST

The petitioner had urged the transfer of proceedings from Farukkhabad to Darjeeling as all witnesses in the case were from Bengal’s Siliguri.

The Supreme Court on July 31 - and in relation to a matter being heard before a lower court in Uttar Pradesh - observed 'Hindi is the national language and witnesses, irrespective of their state of origin,… have to communicate in it'. The observation was made by Justice Dipankar Datta, who rejected a petition seeking transfer of a motor accident case pending in the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal in UP's Farukkhabad to the MACT Bengal's Darjeeling.

Supreme Court (PTI Photo/Atul Yadav)(PTI)
Supreme Court (PTI Photo/Atul Yadav)(PTI)

The petitioner, Pramod Sinha, had urged the transfer of proceedings from Farukkabad to Darjeeling as all witnesses in the case hailed from Bengal’s Siliguri. Arguing that the witnesses may face hurdles in communication owing to a language barrier, Sinha moved the court. Rejecting Sinha’s contention, the apex court stated that witnesses are expected to testify in Hindi.

Legal news website Bar & Bench quoted the court as saying, "In a country as diverse as India, it is no doubt true that people speak different languages. There are at least 22 (twenty-two) official languages. However, Hindi being the national language, it is expected of the witnesses who would be produced by the petitioner before the MACT, Fatehgarh, U.P. to communicate and convey their version in Hindi. If the contention of the petitioner is to be accepted, it is the claimants who would be seriously prejudiced not being in a position to communicate and convey their version in Bengali."

Read: Government continues to give ‘unfair’ advantage to Hindi, says Stalin

Dismissing Sinha’s argument that it would be convenient if MACT Darjeeling could decide the claim petition as the incident had taken place at Siliguri, the court held that the claimants had the option to choose the jurisdiction based on their residence, place of business, or the defendant’s residence.

"The claimants having chosen the option to approach the MACT, Farrukhabad at Fatehgarh, U.P., a forum that law permits them to choose, no grievance can be raised by the petitioner," the court added in its order.

The transfer petition, filed under Section 25 of the Code of Civil Procedure Code, 1908, was heard by Justice Datta on Monday. Notably, Datta is also from West Bengal.

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