SC to translate orders in vernacular languages for non-English speakers
The Supreme Court has decided to make its judgments available in regional languages on its official website by month-end, in a move that will satisfy a long-standing demand of non-English speakers.
Under the existing practice, judgements are written in English and subsequently uploaded on the SC website. The point of making them available in regional languages is to enable litigants to check out the status of their cases without having to depend on lawyers.
To begin with, judgements will be translated into six vernacular languages: Assamese, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Odia and Telugu. Officials in the SC registry familiar with developments said Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had formally cleared the indigenously developed software by the top court’s “in-house” electronic software wing.
“The need to have judgements in vernacular languages arose as litigants have been approaching the SC office asking for a copy of the final verdict in a language they can speak and read. Every litigant may not be an English-speaking individual,” an officer from the registry said, requesting anonymity.
The languages to translate the judgements into were decided on the basis of the number of requests coming to the top court from various states. The exercise will be repeated in the second phase. Another officer involved with the project said changes to the website would be made soon and vernacular judgements would be posted on the website by month-end.
However, unlike orders written in English that are posted on the website on the day they are passed, the translated versions would be uploaded a week later.
Priority in translation will be given to orders relating to individual litigants such as civil disputes, criminal matters, landlord-tenant disputes, matrimonial issues etc.