The Supreme Court has decided to make its judgements available in regional languages. The court which produces its judgements in English at present would be making translations of the same available on its official website by the end of this month.
This would be done so as to enable litigants to check out the status of their cases without having to depend on lawyers. To begin with, judgements would be translated into Assamese, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Odia and Telugu. As per reports, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi has formally cleared the use of an indigenously developed software by the Supreme Court’s “in-house” electronic software wing for this purpose.
The six languages were selected based on the volume of requests coming to the top court from various states. There would be a second phase in which the same exercise would be repeated. However, unlike English judgements that are posted on the same day, the translations would only be posted within a week.
Reportedly, cases relating to individual litigants in civil disputes, criminal matters, landlord-tenant issues and matrimonial discord would be given priority initially.
The idea to translate judgements into regional languages was first suggested by President Ram Nath Kovind in 2017 while he was addressing a conference in Kochi. He highlighted the importance of doing so for the benefit of non-English speakers. Litigants who aren’t conversant in English depend on lawyers to read the judgement. He says that this could add to the time and cost.
Earlier in November 2018, during an informal discussion, CJI Gogoi had also expressed his determination to ensure that judgments were translated to regional languages.