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Communicate in English with Tamil Nadu: Madras HC tells Centre

2 min read

Alka Verma-

Published on : September 10, 2021 at 15:57 IST

Madras High Court on Friday told Centre to communicate in English with all the states who haven’t accepted Hindi as their official language including Tamil Nadu.

The Bench comprising Justices N Kirubakaran (now retired) and M Duraiswamy cited Section 3 of Official Languages Act 1963 and the Official Language Rules 1976.

In this regard, the Court said, “Once a representation is given in English, it is the duty of the Union Government to give a reply in English only which will also be in consonance with the statute, viz., the Official Languages Act.”

The Court was dealing with a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition filed by Lok Sabha Member of Parliament from Madurai, Su Venkatesan.

The petition was filed by him because he got a reply in Hindi from Central Government.

The Court was informed by Venkatesan that he wrote in English and also asked the Centre to reply back in English.

In this regard, Court stated that different ethnic, linguistic and cultural identities have to be protected and any attempt to destroy and disturb the same is a sensitive issue.

The Court further added, “Any kind of fanaticism is not good for any society. Fanaticism, in any form, is to be condemned, if it is exhibited. Linguistic fanaticism is more dangerous as it would give an impression that one language alone is superior and being imposed upon the people speaking different languages.”

At last, the Court observed, “To put it in other words, the official language of India (Hindi) cannot be used for official correspondence with the State of Tamil Nadu. When the Act of Parliament states about the use of English language for official purpose of communication between the Union and the States which have not adopted Hindi as their official language, the Central Government is duty-bound to follow the enactment.

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