The Supreme Court recently in the case of Hari Om v. State of U.P. has directed the Registrar Generals of all High Courts to furnish the translation of the original records in English language from vernacular language wherever required, which are to be transmitted to the Supreme Court.
A Bench comprising of Justices S.A. Bobde, L. Nageswara Rao and R. Subhash Reddy also issued a notice to all High Courts in this regard while hearing an appeal against the imposition of capital punishment by Allahabad High Court.
On the date of the hearing, the court was unable to proceed with the hearing because the counsel for the appellant informed the court that reliance needs to be placed on exhibits which have not yet been translated.
As a result, the court issued a notice to the Registrar General of the Allahabad High Court calling upon him to show cause why adequate provisions should not be made in the Rules for translating the documents/exhibits into English language from vernacular language in criminal appeals before the Supreme Court.
The Bench reiterating that the language of the Supreme Court is English said that “in the circumstances, we consider it appropriate to consider directing the Registrars General of all High Courts to furnish the translation of the Original Records in English language from vernacular language wherever required, which are to be transmitted to this Court. Article 348 of the Constitution of India mandates that all the proceedings in this Court shall be done in English language.”
Further, the Bench taking into consideration the case of Pehtu Kanwar v. the State of Bihar, in which the court had issued similar directions, has said that “it is unfortunate that the aforesaid directions given by this Court have not been stricto sensu followed. We reiterate the said order and direct the Registry of all High Courts to comply with the aforesaid directions in letter and spirit and to transmit the entire lower court records in the English language”
In the instant appeal, the court granted a period of four weeks to furnish translated copies of the records after which the case will be listed.