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Marathi should be the language of the law say judges at meet

Written by: Staff
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Mumbai, Mar 26 (UNI) Don't be surprised if you find your judicial system adopting Marathi in near future, as eminent personalities from the field of law agreed that the courts should use the language understood by the common man.

They were talking at a two-day seminar organised by the Department of Journalism and Communication of the University of Mumbai and the Marathi Bhasha Sanrakshan Ani Vikas Sanstha.

High Court Judge Abhay Oka said the common man does not necessarily understand English.

''It is true that 50 per cent proceedings and paper work in lower courts are done in Marathi as the State Government's notification under section 272 of the Code of Criminal Procedure as well as under section 137(2) of Code of Civil Procedure is followed. But the same person is not sure whether he would get justice since in a High Court as the proceedings are not in Marathi,'' he said.

There are times when lawyers take advantage of the common man knowing his lack of ability to understand the language of arguement and appeal, he added.

Bringing Marathi language into the procedure of the High Court would increase a layman's participation as he can not only understand what is going on but also correct or add information where his advocate may miss out, believed Justice Oka.

Justice Dahrmadhikari of the High Court echoed his sentiments on the issue.

He asked, ''What kind of a legal system do we have where langauge is not ours, education is not in our language, judgements are not given in our language, even laws are not written in our langauge. Then why do we say that courts are for common man?'' Bombay High Court's Justice Dilip Bhonsale on the other hand observed ''English is not our mother tongue but we should not forget that it is a global language and we need to progress not just in a regional sense but with a broader spectrum of thought.'' He elaborated and said, ''While we need to act local we need to think global. We need to understand that the language of the people should be the language of justice.'' However, at the same time he also pointed out that bringing in the change would not materialise overnight and would take months of training and hardwork on part of the law officials.

'' No doubt that language is for the litigant. Therefore, it should not become a barrier for justice, at the same time a global language cannot be ignored,'' he said.

UNI ARM KU SC RN2037

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