Ministry of Law and Justice

ACTION PLAN FOR SIMPLE, ACCESSIBLE, AFFORDABLE AND SPEEDY JUSTICE

Posted On: 10 AUG 2023 5:09PM by PIB Delhi

Article 348(1)(a) of the Constitution of India states that all proceedings in the Supreme Court and in every High Court, shall be in English language. However, Clause (2) of the Article 348 of the Constitution states that notwithstanding anything in sub-clause (a) of clause (1), the Governor of a State may, with the previous consent of the President, authorize the use of Hindi Language, or any other language used for any official purposes of the State, in proceedings in the High Court having its principal seat in that State.The Cabinet Committee’s decision dated 21.05.1965 has stipulated that consent of the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India be obtained on any proposal relating to use of a language other than English in the High Court.

Accordingly, the use of Hindi in the proceedings of High Court of Rajasthan was authorized under clause (2) of Article 348 of the constitution in 1950. After the Cabinet Committee’s decision dated 21.05.1965 as mentioned above, the use of Hindi was authorized in the High Courts of Uttar Pradesh (1969), Madhya Pradesh (1971) and Bihar (1972) in consultation with the Chief Justice of India.

Further, in order to promote regional languages in judicial procedure, Supreme Court has developed Supreme Court Vidhik Anuvaad Software (SUVAS) which is a machine assisted translation tool trained by Artificial Intelligence. SUVAS has been developed with technical support from Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. This tool is specially designed for judicial domain and currently has the capacity of translating English Judicial Documents, orders or Judgments into ten vernacular languages which are: Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Malayalam, Bengali, Urdu and vice-versa.

In order to ensure time bound judicial system, dedicated Commercial Courts for speedier resolution of commercial disputes have been set up with proper infrastructure and exclusive judicial human powerunder Commercial Courts Act, 2015. Presently, there are 35 Dedicated Commercial Courts in Delhi, 6 Dedicated Commercial Courts in Mumbai, 8 Dedicated Commercial Courts in Bengaluru city and 2 Dedicated Commercial Courts in Bengaluru Rural areas apart from 2 Dedicated Commercial Courts in Kolkata.

In addition, 23 High Courts have set up designated Special Courts for Infrastructure project contracts disputes as per Section 20B of the Specific Relief (Amendment) Act, 2018. Further, High Courts of Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Allahabad and Calcutta have allocated dedicated days in a week/month for hearing of such disputes related to infrastructure project contracts.

High Court of Delhi, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Allahabad, Jammu & Kashmir, Sikkim, Patna and Madras have set up Special Benches for dealing with high value commercial disputes i.e. above Rs. 500 crores. Other High Courts are also considering the proposal.

In order to expedite old casesa resolution was passed in Chief Justices’ Conference held in April, 2015, based on which Arrears Committees have been set up in all 25 High Courts to clear cases pending for more than five years. Arrears Committees have been set up under District courts as well.

This information was given by the Minister of Law and Justice, Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.

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SS/RKM



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