National

Prez bats for translating verdicts of HCs in local languages

PTI Chennai | Updated on July 13, 2019 Published on July 13, 2019

President Ram Nath Kovind presents the LL.D. (Honoris Causa) to Justice (Retd) P Sathasivam at a special convocation ceremony at Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University, in Chennai, Saturday, July 13, 2019. - PTI

President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday advocated translating high courts’ judgements into vernacular languages so that people are able to understand them.

“Over the years, our understanding of law and its applications has become larger and sophisticated,” he said addressing a special convocation of the state-run Tamil Nadu Dr Ambedkar Law University. Yet, Kovind asked, if enough attention was being paid to issues of legal infrastructure and access to justice, especially for ordinary citizens and added that there was a need to enhance legal literacy and simplify the legal rules.

“It is important to not only take justice to the people, but also to make it understandable to litigating parties in a language they know. Perhaps, a system could be evolved whereby certified translated copies of judgements are made available by high courts in local or regional language,” he said.

The president recalled that he had put forth this suggestion in October 2017 while addressing the valedictory of the diamond jubilee celebration of the Kerala High Court. “I am happy to learn that some other high courts have also responded to the suggestion positively. The language of certified copies could be Malayalam in the Kerala High Court or Tamil in the Madras High Court, as the case may be,” he said.

Political parties in Tamil Nadu have for long been clamouring for Tamil as a court language in the Madras High Court. Batting for equal access to law for poor and disapproving abuse of adjournments, the president said the need to make the provision of justice speedier and affordable places a great responsibility on the lawyer community. “Our legal system has a reputation for being expensive and prone to delays. There are some who tend to use and abuse the instrument of adjournments as a tactic to slow down proceedings, rather than a response to a genuine emergency.

“This makes obtaining justice costly for the litigant. It would be a travesty of our republican ethic if a poor person did not get the same access to the law as a rich person,” he said. Kovind congratulated Justice P Sathasivam (Governor of Kerala and former chief justice, Supreme Court), Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde (judge, Supreme Court) and Justice V K Tahilramani (Chief Justice, Madras High Court) who were conferred LL D (Honoris Causa) degrees by the varsity for their distinguished services to law and justice.

Published on July 13, 2019
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