A writ petition drafted and presented in Sanskrit cannot be adjudicated nor can arguments be advanced in the language, the Allahabad High Court ruled today.
Passing the order dismissing a 26-year-old writ petition, drafted in Sanskrit and filed along with a copy of its Hindi translation, Justice Sabhajeet Yadav said "even no judgement, order or decree can be passed by the courts in Sanskrit".
The writ petition was filed by one Virendra Shah Sodh in July, 1986. When the matter came up for hearing today, the court refused to entertain the petition on the ground that it was drafted in Sanskrit and rejected the petitioner's claim that the writ itself was admitted by a court order delivered in the classical language.
However, the court said "the law, as it now stands, clearly permits the use of Hindi in every proceeding of the High Court including drafting of affidavits, counter-affidavits and rejoinder, the appeals, revision, review and writ petitions".
The court also said a High Court judge "can also deliver his judgement or pass order or decree in Hindi if he so chooses but he cannot be compelled to do so."
"In case, he passes an order or decree etc. in Hindi, the only limitation still imposed upon him is that it must be accompanied by a translation of the same in English under the authority of the High Court", it said.
"But there is nothing to indicate that any such law permits the use of Sanskrit in any proceedings of the High Court", the judge remarked.