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Hindi is our national language; Supreme Court rejects plea to transfer case on ground of language [Read Order]

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      05 August, 2023 10:22 PM      0 Comments
Hindi is our national language; Supreme Court rejects plea to transfer case on ground of language [Read Order]

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has rejected a plea to transfer a case from Farrukhabad in Uttar Pradesh to Darjeeling in West Bengal due to language barrier, saying Hindi is the national language and most of witnesses would communicate and convey in it.

"In a country as diverse as India, it is no doubt true that people speak different languages. There are at least 22 official languages. However, Hindi being the national language, it is expected of the witnesses who would be produced by the petitioner before the MACT, Fatehgarh, UP to communicate and convey their version in Hindi," a bench of Justice Dipankar Datta said.

Petitioner Pramod Sinha sought transfer of a claim petition filed in the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal Farrukhabad at Fatehgarh, UP, under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 to Darjeeling.

He said that since all his witnesses are from Siliguri, language could be a barrier.

The bench said contention has been urged only to be rejected.

"If the contention of the petitioner is to be accepted, it is the claimants who would be seriously prejudiced not being in a position to communicate and convey their version in Bengali," the court said.

Sinha was the owner of the offending vehicle. He sought transfer of the claim petition to the MACT, Darjeeling in the state of West Bengal.

The primary ground on which transfer has been sought is that the accident had taken place at Siliguri and, therefore, it would be expedient for the MACT at Darjeeling to decide the claim petition, it noted.

The bench, however, said, "The provisions of the Act do not make it mandatory for the claimants to lodge an application for compensation under Section 166 thereof before the MACT having jurisdiction over the area where the accident occurred."

On the contrary, sub-section (2) of Section 166 provides an option for the claimants to approach the MACT within the local limits of whose jurisdiction they (claimants) reside or carry on business or the defendant resides. The claimants having chosen the option to approach the MACT, Farrukhabad a forum that law permits them to choose, no grievance can be raised by the petitioner, the bench added.

 

[Read Order]



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