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Sec.3 of Uttar Pradesh Official Language Act (amendement ) 1989 – Notification declaring the Urdu as second language – Challenged as unconstitutional – High court dismissed the writ – Apex court held that We hold, as we must, that neither insertion of Section 3 in the 1989 Amendment Act nor the impugned notification in pursuance of the above provision notifying Urdu as the second language for seven purposes is unconstitutional. = CIVIL APPEAL NO.459 OF 1997 U.P. Hindi Sahitya Sammelan … Appellant Versus State of U.P. … Respondent = 2014 – Sept. Month- http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41872

 Sec.3 of Uttar Pradesh Official Language Act (amendement ) 1989 – Notification declaring the Urdu as second language – Challenged  as unconstitutional – High court dismissed the writ – Apex court held that We hold, as we must, that neither insertion of Section 3 in  the 1989 Amendment Act nor the impugned notification in pursuance of  the  above provision notifying Urdu as  the  second  language  for  seven  purposes  is unconstitutional. =

On 07.04.1982, an Ordinance called the  Uttar  Pradesh  Official

Language (Amendment)  Ordinance,  1982  was  promulgated  by  the  Governor.

Section 2 of the Ordinance provided that in the 1951 Act,

after  Section  2,

the following Section (deemed Section 3) shall be inserted:

In the interest of Urdu speaking people, Urdu  language  shall  be  used  as

second language, in addition to Hindi for such purposes as are specified  in

the Schedule.

Section 3 of the  Ordinance  provided  that  in  the  Principal  Act,  after

Section 3, as inserted by the Ordinance, the  following  Schedule  shall  be

inserted:

1. Entertaining application in Urdu presented by the members of the public.

2.  Receiving documents in Urdu presented  for  registration  with  a  Hindi

copy thereof.

3.    Publication   of   important   Government   Rules,   Regulation    and

Notifications.

4.   Publication of important Government Advertisements.

5.  Translation of Gazette in Urdu.

4.          The above Ordinance was replaced by the U.P.  Official  Language

(Amendment)  (3rd)  Ordinance,  1983  (U.P.  Ordinance  44  of  1983).

The

constitutionality of U.P. Ordinance No.44 of 1983 was put  in  issue  before

the Allahabad High Court, Lucknow Bench in Writ Petition No.285 of  1984  by

the present appellant U.P. Hindi Sahitya Sammelan.

This writ  petition  was

dismissed by the Division Bench of  the  Allahabad  High  Court,  though  by

separate judgments.

filed another writ petition before the Allahabad High  Court,

Lucknow Bench challenging the 1989  Amendment  Act  and  Notification  dated

07.10.1989. =

The Division Bench by its order dated 16.08.1996  dismissed  the

writ petition holding as follows:

In view of the learned third Judge, Hon’ble  Brijesh  Kumar,  J.,  the

U.P. Official Language (Amendment ) Act,  I989  (U.P.  Act  No.28  of  1989)

adding Section 3 in the U.P. Official Language  Act,  1951  is  held  to  be

intra vires. It is further heId that the impugned enactment does not  suffer

from the vice of excessive delegation. The impugned  enactment  as  well  as

the notification are held valid and constitutional.=

Indian language laws are  not  rigid  but  accommodative  –  the

object being to secure linguistic secularism.

44.         We hold, as we must, that neither insertion of Section 3 in  the

1989 Amendment Act nor the impugned notification in pursuance of  the  above

provision notifying Urdu as  the  second  language  for  seven  purposes  is

unconstitutional.

45.         There is no merit in the appeal and  it  is  dismissed  with  no

order as to costs.

 2014 – Sept. Month-     http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41872

REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NO.459 OF 1997

U.P. Hindi Sahitya Sammelan … Appellant
Versus

State of U.P. … Respondent

JUDGMENT
R.M. LODHA, CJI.

On 12.11.1951, the Uttar Pradesh Official Language Act, 1951
(U.P. Act No.XXVI of 1951) (for short, ‘1951 Act’) was published in Gazette
Extraordinary and came into force. 1951 Act was passed in Hindi by the
U.P. Legislative Assembly on 27.09.1951 and by the U.P Legislative Council
on 29.09.1951. It received the assent of the Governor on 05.11.1951. 1951
Act is enacted by the State Legislature to provide for adoption of
Hindi as the language to be used for the official purposes and other
matters of the State of Uttar Pradesh.
2. Section 2 of the 1951 Act reads as under:

2. Hindi to be official language of the State.—Without prejudice to the
provisions of Articles 346 and 347 of the Constitution, Hindi in Devnagri
script shall, with effect from such date, as the State Government may, by
notification in the official Gazette, appoint in this behalf, be the
language used in respect of the following :—
(a) (i) ordinances promulgated under Article 213 of the Constitution.
(ii) orders, rules regulations and bye-laws issued by the State
Government under the Constitution of India or under any law made by
Parliament or the Legislature of the State, and
(b) all or any of the official purposes of the State; and different
dates may be appointed for different purposes in clauses (a) and (b)
aforesaid.

A proviso was inserted to above Section 2 by U.P. Act No.9 of 1969. It
reads, “Provided that the State Government may by general or special order,
in this behalf, permit the use of the international form of Indian numerals
for any official purpose of the State.”

3. On 07.04.1982, an Ordinance called the Uttar Pradesh Official
Language (Amendment) Ordinance, 1982 was promulgated by the Governor.
Section 2 of the Ordinance provided that in the 1951 Act, after Section 2,
the following Section (deemed Section 3) shall be inserted:
In the interest of Urdu speaking people, Urdu language shall be used as
second language, in addition to Hindi for such purposes as are specified in
the Schedule.

Section 3 of the Ordinance provided that in the Principal Act, after
Section 3, as inserted by the Ordinance, the following Schedule shall be
inserted:

1. Entertaining application in Urdu presented by the members of the public.
2. Receiving documents in Urdu presented for registration with a Hindi
copy thereof.
3. Publication of important Government Rules, Regulation and
Notifications.
4. Publication of important Government Advertisements.
5. Translation of Gazette in Urdu.

4. The above Ordinance was replaced by the U.P. Official Language
(Amendment) (3rd) Ordinance, 1983 (U.P. Ordinance 44 of 1983). The
constitutionality of U.P. Ordinance No.44 of 1983 was put in issue before
the Allahabad High Court, Lucknow Bench in Writ Petition No.285 of 1984 by
the present appellant U.P. Hindi Sahitya Sammelan. This writ petition was
dismissed by the Division Bench of the Allahabad High Court, though by
separate judgments.
5. On 07.10.1989, the Uttar Pradesh Official Language (Amendment)
Act, 1989 (U.P. Act No.28 of 1989) (for short, “1989 Amendment Act”) came
into effect. 1989 Amendment Act was enacted by the U.P. Legislature to
amend 1951 Act. By this Amendment Act, Section 3 was inserted after
Section 2 in 1951 Act providing for Urdu language as second official
language for such purposes as may be notified by the State Government from
time to time.
6. In pursuance of the power conferred upon the State Government
to notify Urdu as second official language for specified purposes, the
State Government issued a notification on 07.10.1989 notifying use of Urdu
language as second official language for the following seven purposes:

1. Entertaining petitions and applications in Urdu and replies thereof in
Urdu,

2. receiving documents written in Urdu by the Registration office,

3. publication of important Government Rules, Regulations and Notifications
in Urdu also,

4. issuing Government orders and circulars of public importance in Urdu
also,

5. publication of important Government advertisements in Urdu also,

publication of Urdu translation also of the Gazette,
exhibition of important signposts in Urdu.
7. Appellant, U.P. Hindi Sahitya Sammelan (Civil Appeal No.459 of
1997), which had filed Writ Petition No.285 of 1984 earlier before the
Allahabad High Court challenging the constitutionality of U.P. Ordinance
No.44 of 1983, filed another writ petition before the Allahabad High Court,
Lucknow Bench challenging the 1989 Amendment Act and Notification dated
07.10.1989.
8. This writ petition was heard by the Division Bench comprising
of S.N. Sahay and D.K. Trivedi, JJ.
9. S.N. Sahay, J. in his judgment held that the 1989 Amendment Act
and the notification impugned in the writ petition were ultra vires and
liable to be struck down. He, however, observed that the State Legislature
shall not be precluded from making any law in future with respect to Urdu
in accordance with the provisions of Articles 345 and 347 of the
Constitution.
10. D.K. Trivedi, J., on the other hand, did not concur with the
view of S.N. Sahay, J. He, in his separate judgment, held that the 1989
Amendment Act and the notification impugned in the writ petition did not
suffer from the constitutional vice and the writ petition was liable to be
dismissed.
11. In view of the difference of opinion between the Members of the
Bench, the Bench directed the papers to be laid before the Chief Justice of
the High Court for referring the following questions to a third Judge for
his opinion:

1. Whether the impugned enactment can be said to be a valid piece of
legislation within the meaning of Article 345 of the Constitution?

2. Whether the impugned notification suffers from the vice of excessive
delegation ?

3. Whether the impugned enactment and the impugned notification are valid
and constitutional or ultra vires?
12. The Chief Justice of the High Court then referred the matter to
the third Judge, Brijesh Kumar, J. (as His Lordship then was) for answer to
the above questions.
13. Brijesh Kumar, J. answered the questions referred to him as
follows:
(1) That while enacting law to officially recognise a second language for
use in the State, the State Legislature shall have to consider the
provisions of Articles 345 and 347 of the Constitution by reading them
together; the impugned enactment is, however, valid piece of legislation in
view of the judgment of the Division Bench in Writ Petition No. 285/84.

2) The impugned enactment does not suffer from the
vice of excessive delegation.

(3) In view of the answers given on questions No. (1) and (2), I find that
the impugned enactment as well as the notification are valid and
constitutional.

14. In light of the answers given by the third Judge, the matter
was placed before the Division Bench for appropriate orders on the writ
petition.
15. The Division Bench by its order dated 16.08.1996 dismissed the
writ petition holding as follows:
In view of the learned third Judge, Hon’ble Brijesh Kumar, J., the
U.P. Official Language (Amendment ) Act, I989 (U.P. Act No.28 of 1989)
adding Section 3 in the U.P. Official Language Act, 1951 is held to be
intra vires. It is further heId that the impugned enactment does not suffer
from the vice of excessive delegation. The impugned enactment as well as
the notification are held valid and constitutional.

In the result, the writ petition fails and is dismissed. No order as
to costs.
16. Aggrieved by the judgment and order of the Allahabad High Court
dated 16.08.1996, the present appellant filed special leave petition.
Leave was granted by this Court on 27.01.1997.
17. On 02.09.2003, the appeal was listed for hearing before a 2-
Judge Bench of this Court. The Bench felt that having regard to the nature
of controversy and the important question of law arising in the matter, it
was appropriate that matter should be heard by a Bench of 3-Judges.
18. It was then that the matter was listed before the 3-Judge
Bench on 29.10.2003. On that day, the Court was of the opinion that the
appeal needed to be heard by a Bench of 5-Judges as it involves substantial
question of law as to the interpretation of Articles 345 and 347 of the
Constitution. This is how the appeal has come up before us.
19. Part XVII? of the Constitution deals with official
language. It has four chapters. Chapter I relates to the official
language of the Union, Chapter II, Chapter III and Chapter IV relate to
regional languages, language of the Supreme Court, High Courts etc. and
Special Directive respectively.
20. It is apposite here to briefly notice the views of prominent
authors with regard to Part XVII of the Constitution. It is commonly
believed that the keenest controversy in the Constituent Assembly was in
regard to the official language. Shri B. Shiva Rao (The Project Committee
Chairman) in “The Framing of India’s Constitution – A Study” records:
“This issue produced so much heat and gave rise to such violent feelings
that it was felt necessary from the outset to keep it out of direct
discussion in the Assembly. The leaders made every effort to settle it on
the basis of general accord, but often it seemed as though a settlement
might not be possible. It was not until towards the end of the constitution
making process that some kind of agreement could be reached.” In Chapter 26
of this volume, it is further recorded :

Feelings on the language issue developed formidably almost from the opening
of the Constituent Assembly. It was, however, not the Hindi versus Urdu or
Hindi versus Hindustani controversy that was raised at this time; there was
general agreement that Hindustani might be the name for the national
language. When the question of the setting up of a committee on the rules
of procedure was discussed, R. V. Dhulekar moved an amendment proposing
that the committee should frame rules in Hindustani and not in English. The
Chairman requested him to speak in English, as many members could not
understand Hindustani; but Dhulekar not only insisted on speaking in
Hindustani but made the remark that those who did not know Hindustani had
no right to stay in India and were not worthy to be members of the
Assembly. The Chairman cut the discussion short by ruling the amendment out
of order and prohibiting all further discussion’; but the issue was revived
when the report of the committee came up for discussion. The committee
recommended that in the Assembly business should be transacted in
Hindustani (Hindi or Urdu) or English, but the Chairman was permitted to
allow any member unacquainted with these languages to. address the Assembly
in his mother tongue. The official records of the Assembly were to be kept
in Urdu, Hindi and English.

21. In Vol. IV of the Framing of India’s Constitution – Select
Documents, Chapter 13 highlights the provisions relating to Official
Language. It is stated therein that neither the draft Constitution
prepared by the Constitutional Adviser nor the version as settled by the
Drafting Committee contained any provisions relating to official language,
but they contained provisions as to the language or the languages to be
used in the Union Parliament and the State Legislatures. The language issue
figured prominently during the general discussion on the Draft
Constitution; and the sharp differences of opinion which developed in the
course of the debate revealed the extent of feeling which the question had
engendered. Towards the end of August, 1949, Munshi and Gopalaswami
Ayyangar prepared detailed draft compromise provisions for inclusion in the
Draft Constitution. The draft provisions on the official language
prepared by Munshi and Gopalaswami Ayyangar as revised by the Drafting
Committee had four chapters, Language of the Union, Regional languages,
Language of Supreme Court and High Courts etc. and Special Directive.
22. Granville Austin in the Indian Constitution – Cornerstone of a
Nation, has described Munshi–Ayyangar formula as half-hearted compromise.
He says that it was a compromise between opinions which were not easily
reconcilable. There were two basic principles behind the formula, one “we
should select one of the languages in India as the common language of the
whole of India”. The second principle was “that the numerals to be used for
all official Union purposes should be what have been described as the all-
India forms of Indian numerals.” The members of the Assembly voted for
the Munshi-Ayyangar formula.
23. H. M. Seervai in Constitutional Law of India – A Critical
Commentary (Fourth Edition)¥ has also given a brief historical account of
the language issue that erupted in the course of discussion on the Draft
Constitution. H. M. Seervai states that having regard to the place given
to the Union in our Constitution, the importance of the official language
of the Union cannot be overrated. Drawing the distinction between English
and Hindi, on the one hand, and other languages mentioned in Schedule VIII,
on the other hand, the learned author says:

English was and is a de facto medium of instruction in various
Universities. The Constitution and the Official Languages Act have
continued its use for official purposes of the Union of India. Therefore,
English stands in a class by itself, because of historical reasons and
because of express constitutional and legislative provisions. Hindi also
occupies a position by itself. It is the official language of the Union of
India and the Constitution contemplates that it should gradually replace
English. Therefore, Hindi is also in a class by itself. But the other
languages mentioned in Sch. VIII stand on a different footing. The
retention of English as a medium is justified and the substitution of
English by Hindi can be justified for reasons mentioned above. But the
substitution of any other regional language for English cannot be justified
because there would be other languages spoken by large groups of people
which are capable of being the media of instruction in Universities. Since
there are large numbers of people in the city whose mother tongue is
Marathi, Gujarati, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, and Urdu, it would be difficult
to justify the selection of one or more of these languages as a medium of
instruction to the exclusion of the others, if the principle of selection
is that University education should be in the mother tongue.

24. Acharya Dr. Durga Das Basu, in his commentary on the
Constitution of India, Volume 9, 2011 while dealing with Part XVII under
the sub-title “Need for a National Language” observes that the Constitution
makers failed to declare one language as the national language of India and
what has been provided in the Constitution is mainly a compromise between
the diverse claims8. Dr. Basu then observes that what has been provided
in the Constitution is not a national language but – (a) an “official
language” for the Union (Articles 343-344); (b) regional official languages
for the States (Articles 345-347); and (c) official language (a) for
purposes of proceedings in the Supreme Court and High Courts and (b) for
Bills, Acts, Ordinances, Regulations, bye-laws at the Union and State
level. Dr. Basu in his treatise quotes the Constitutional Law of India by
T.K. Tope*, wherein the author has stated that Hindi has not been accepted
as the national language by the Constitution; the Constitution has not laid
down any language as the national language.
25. Now, it is time to turn to the two Articles, Articles 345 and
347, which have fallen for consideration on the issue, whether it is
constitutional for the U.P. Legislative Assembly to declare Urdu as the
second official language through the 1989 Amendment Act once it has
declared Hindi as the official language in 1951 under Article 345 of the
Constitution of India. The submission by Mr. Shyam Divan, learned senior
counsel for the appellant, is that having regard to the special
constitutional status of the Hindi language, where the Legislature of a
State by law adopts Hindi as the official language, two things necessarily
follow (one) the State Legislature is precluded from de-recognising Hindi
as an official language and (two) the State Legislature is precluded from
adopting any other official language. The argument of the learned senior
counsel for the appellant is founded on the premise that Part XVII of the
Constitution constitutes complete scheme with regard to official language.
The two key features of Part XVII, according to learned senior counsel,
are: a special status to the Hindi language and a special role of balancing
entrusted to the President on the sensitive and potentially divisive issue
of language.
26. What logically follows from the argument of Mr. Shyam Divan is
that the text of Article 345 gives two options to the State Legislature,
one, adoption of any one or more of the languages in use in the State
(Option 1) and the other, Hindi (Option 2) and once Option 2 is exercised,
the power of the State Legislature gets exhausted. If the argument of Mr.
Shyam Divan is accepted, it would mean that the use of the word “or”
signifies that Option 1 would be available to the Legislature of State only
if it does not go in for Option 2. Once the State Legislature has
exercised Option 2, and adopted Hindi as the language to be used for all
or any of the official purposes of the State, it cannot go down the route
of Option 1. We find it difficult to accept the submission of learned
senior counsel. Merely because Hindi is mentioned explicitly or separately
and it is adopted as official language by the State, we do not think that
the Constitution forecloses the State Legislature’s option to adopt any
other language in use in the State as official language.
27. Nothing in Article 345, in our view, bars declaring one or more
of the languages in use in the State, in addition to Hindi, as the second
official language. This can only be at the cost of distorting the provision
contained in Article 345. The significance of the word “or” occurring
before “Hindi” is to dispense with the requirement of Hindi being “in use”,
while the requirement of being “in use” for any other language to be
declared official language has to be satisfied for exercise of power by the
State Legislature under Article 345. Dispensing this requirement for Hindi
was meant to absorb the adoption of Hindi across States. This cannot be
taken to mean that the particular State Legislature must sacrifice its
power in promoting other languages within the State. The purpose of using
Hindi separately in Article 345 is to facilitate adoption of Hindi across
the States whether or not Hindi is in use in a particular State. Any other
construction to Article 345 would be unduly interfering with the language
compromise adopted by the Constitution.
28. Part XVII of the Constitution as its scheme suggests is
accommodative. After all, language policies are constructs and they change
over time.P
29. The plain language of Article 345 which empowers the State
Legislature to make law for adoption of one or more of the languages in use
in the State leaves no manner of doubt that such power may be exercised by
the State Legislature from time to time. A different intention does not
appear from the plain language of Article 345. We do not find any
indication that the power can be exercised by the State Legislature only
once and that power gets exhausted if the State Legislature adopts Hindi as
the official language of the State. In our view, the State Legislature is
at liberty to exercise its discretion under Article 345 from time to time
for specified purpose. It does not appear to us that Hindi once adopted as
official language of the State in exercise of its power by State
Legislature under Article 345, the State Legislature ceases to have any law
making power under Article 345. The judgment of this Court in
Nasiruddin[1] has no application for the purpose of construction of
Article 345.
30. We shall deal with the expression “subject to” a little later
but suffice it to say here that there are many State Legislatures who have
adopted other officially recognized language(s) in addition to Hindi such
as Bihar, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Delhi has
also adopted Punjabi and Urdu as other officially recognized languages in
addition to Hindi. Obviously, this would not have been possible but for
the constitutional permissibility.
31. The position that Hindi has been mentioned separately in
Article 345 in the context of the preceding expression “adopt any one or
more of the languages in use in the State” is to promote and spread Hindi
in terms of Article 351 though it may not be spoken or used by the people
in the State. Article 345 enables the State Legislature to adopt any
number of languages which are in use in the State for all or any of the
official purposes of the State. It is not necessary that there must be
demand made on that behalf to the State Government or if there is demand,
the State Legislature cannot make law adopting a language in use in the
State as second official language. This is one of the distinguishing
features between Articles 345 and 347. If Hindi is in use in a particular
State then it does not foreclose the State’s power or discretion to adopt
any language other than Hindi as the official language provided such
language is ‘in use’ in that State. The use of the word “may” in Article
345 is not without significance. It indicates that State has discretion in
adopting the language or languages in use in the State and so also Hindi.
Such discretion can be exercised any number of times by the State
Legislature as it deems proper. The only restriction to such legislative
power is in Article 347 in a given situation which we shall explain after
some more discussion.
32. Part XVII of the Constitution titled “official language”, Mr.
Shyam Divan, learned senior counsel argues, is a self-contained part of the
Constitution akin to a complete Code. His submission is that the
provisions in Part XVII constitute a complete scheme with respect to
official language. We are in agreement with the learned senior counsel to
this extent. He is also right in his submission that Hindi language has a
special status and particularly in Part XVII. In this regard, reference to
Articles 343(1), 344(2)(a), 345, 346 proviso, 348(2) and 351 has been
rightly made. The above provisions in the Constitution, in our view,
prescribe larger constitutional charter for Hindi but this position in no
way leads to the conclusion suggested by the learned senior counsel for the
appellant that where the Legislature of a State by law adopts Hindi as the
official language, the State Legislature is precluded from adopting any
other official language. As noted earlier, nothing in Article 345 bars
adopting any other official language in use in the State, in addition to
Hindi, as the second official language.
33. It is true that Part XVII specifies the role of the President
(or for that matter, ‘Union Government’) under numerous provisions. The
President may respond to a demand for an additional official language where
the requirements of Article 347 are fulfilled. Before directing that a
particular language shall also be officially recognized throughout a State
or any part of the State for such purpose as the President may specify,
the President must be satisfied that “a substantial portion of the
population of a State desire the use of any language spoken by them to be
recognized by that State”. Article 350B provides a machinery by which the
President may make an assessment with respect to demand of linguistic
minorities. However, we are not persuaded to accept the argument of the
learned senior counsel for the appellant that arrangement in Part XVII of
the Constitution seeks to ensure that the States do not yield to demands
for multiple official languages sequentially and this power is reserved
exclusively with the President (Union Executive).
34. The expression “subject to the provisions of Articles 346 and
347” occurring in Article 345 does not make Article 345 subordinate to
Articles 346 and 347 as suggested by the learned senior counsel. The
effect of the expression “subject to……..” is that any law made by the
Legislature of the State is subject to directions existing, if any, issued
by the President under Article 347 when the State Legislature exercises its
power under Article 345. Once the direction is issued by the President
under Article 347, it is not open to the State Legislature to tinker with
such direction in any manner. In other words, the exercise of power by the
State Legislature should not be in conflict in any manner with the
directions that may have been issued by the President under Article 347.
The plenary power of the State under Article 345 is limited to this extent
only. Except to the limited extent as noted above, it is not correct to say
that power of the State Legislature under Article 345 is subordinate or
servient to Article 347. Part XVII must be read as a whole and, in our
view, Articles 345 and 347 should be construed so as to make it consistent
with federal structure and so also the other provisions of this Chapter.

35. The law making power of the State Legislature under Article 345
is restricted by virtue of the expression “subject to……” against the
direction issued by the President under Article 347 occupying the field.
Absent such direction, the State Legislature is not prevented in any manner
in exercising its power under Article 345.
36. We have, thus, no hesitation in holding that in the absence of
direction issued by the President under Article 347 of the Constitution,
there is no restriction, restraint or impediment for the State Legislature
in adopting one of the languages in use in the State as an official
language under Article 345 of the Constitution of India.
37. As seen above, Article 345 deals with the power of the State
Legislature while Article 347 refers to the power of the President. These
two provisions prescribe a different procedure for making law or issuing
directions for recognising a language as official language. The
requirement, “a substantial portion of the population of a State desire the
use of any language spoken by them to be recognized by that State” in
Article 347 is not a requirement under Article 345 for the State
Legislature to enact law adopting the language as official language of the
State, which is in use in the State. We do not think that the requirement
of Article 347 can be read as a necessary requirement for the State
Legislature to exercise its power under Article 345. We are in agreement
with the view expressed by D.K. Trivedi, J. wherein he said, “The only
limitation imposed on the State Legislature under Article 345 of the
Constitution of India is that the said language must be in use in the State
and further if any direction has been issued by the President under Article
347 then the same will have a binding effect……”.
38. The criterion for adoption of one or more of the languages,
other than Hindi, in the State is that those languages must be “in the use
in State”. This criterion must be satisfied at the time the State
Legislature exercises its power under Article 345. The State Legislature
cannot adopt any language as official language if such language is not used
in the State. However, there is no impediment for the State Legislature
to declare Hindi to be an official language even if Hindi is not “in use”
in Karnataka. The reason for this is to be found in constitutional
compromise on the linguistic issue and the larger constitutional charter
for Hindi to facilitate the spread of Hindi across India.
39. Learned senior counsel for the appellant argues that Chapter II
of Part XVII engrafts a unique dichotomy involving the State Legislature at
the State level and the Union Executive (the President) at the Central
level. It provides two routes for designating a language as an official
language in a State; (a) the adoption by law by the Legislature of the
State; and (b) a direction by the President of India. These two routes
are complementary. Learned senior counsel is right in his submission that
the Constitution of India provides two routes as noted above for
designating a language as an official language in a State. However, the
inference drawn by him that where the State Legislature has adopted a
language as the official language, and there is a demand for recognition of
another language which is used by a substantial proportion of the
population of a State, the Constitution provides only one method for
designating another language as the official language, which is through a
Presidential direction under Article 347, is not entirely correct. Insofar
as Article 347 is concerned, the learned senior counsel is right that if
there is a demand for recognition of another language which is used by a
substantial proportion of the population of a State, this could be done
through Presidential direction under Article 347. However, he is not right
that this is the only method for designating another language as the
official language. If the construction of the learned senior counsel is
accepted, it would restrict and limit the power of the State Legislature in
adopting one or more languages in use in the State as official language.
The curtailment of the State Legislature’s power under Article 345, as
suggested by the learned senior counsel is neither constitutionally sound
nor does it flow from the scheme of Part XVII of the Constitution generally
and the scheme engrafted under Articles 345 and 347. We do not find
ourselves in agreement with the learned senior counsel that a situation
where there is a demand for another official language, Article 347 is the
only manner known in the Constitution to respond to such a demand. In our
view, this is misunderstanding of Articles 345 and 347.
40. In what we have stated above, we are unable to agree with the
learned senior counsel for the appellant that since the Statement of
Objects and Reasons accompanying the Uttar Pradesh Official Language
(Amendment) Bill, 1989 expressly records “demand for the declaration of
Urdu as the second language of the State was made from time to time”, the
impugned law covers the situation contemplated in Article 347 and,
therefore, invoking the legislative power by the State Legislature under
Article 345 is constitutionally bad.
41. A bare text of Article 350 will show that it confers a
constitutional right on every person to submit a representation for redress
of any grievance to any office of the Union or the State in any of the
language used in the Union or the State. Learned senior counsel for the
appellant does not dispute the position that the State Executive may adopt
different languages for the convenience of the citizenry. Obviously, then
the State Legislature shall be within its constitutional power with regard
to field covered by Article 345 to legislate by adopting a language or
languages in use in the State subsequent to the adoption of Hindi as
official language and so also adoption of more official languages. The
exercise of legislative power by the State cannot be said to impinge upon
the power given to the President under Article 347 unless a Presidential
directive is occupying the field.
42. Article 367 of the Constitution is an interpretational
provision. Clause (1) of Article 367 reads:
367. Interpretation—(1) Unless the context otherwise requires, the General
Clauses Act, 1897, shall, subject to any adaptations and modifications that
may be made therein under Article 372, apply for the interpretation of this
Constitution as it applies for the interpretation of an Act of the
Legislature of the Dominion of India.

(2) xxx xxx xxx

(3) xxx xxx xxx

43. By virtue of the above provision in the Constitution, the
provision of Section 14€ of the General Clauses Act, 1897 applies to the
interpretation of the Constitution and that leaves no manner of doubt that
the State Legislature may exercise its power under Article 345 from time to
time. We do not find any merit in the argument of the learned senior
counsel for the appellant that Section 14 of the General Clauses Act has no
application in the present case since a different intention appears in the
constitutional scheme of Part XVII. We have already explained the
constitutional scheme of Part XVII and so also ambit and scope of Articles
345 and 347. For the reasons we have indicated above, we do not find any
merit in the argument of the learned senior counsel for the appellant that
the power of the State Legislature under Article 345 gets exhausted after
a single use. The argument is constitutionally flawed and does not flow
from Articles 345 and 347. In our view, it will be unreasonable to
construe Article 345 in the manner suggested by the learned senior counsel
for the appellant. It is said that law and language are both organic in
their mode of development. In India, these are evolving through the
process of accepting legitimate aspirations of the speakers of different
languages. Indian language laws are not rigid but accommodative – the
object being to secure linguistic secularism.
44. We hold, as we must, that neither insertion of Section 3 in the
1989 Amendment Act nor the impugned notification in pursuance of the above
provision notifying Urdu as the second language for seven purposes is
unconstitutional.
45. There is no merit in the appeal and it is dismissed with no
order as to costs.
….………..……………………CJI.
(R.M. Lodha)
…….………..……………………J.
(Dipak Misra)
…….………..……………………J. (Madan B. Lokur)
…….………..……………………J.
(Kurian Joseph)
NEW DELHI; …….………..……………………J.
SEPTEMBER 4, 2014. (S.A. Bobde)

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2513 OF 2006
Uttar Pradesh Urdu Development Organisation … Appellant

Versus

State Election Commissioner and Ors. … Respondents
ORDER
In light of the judgment passed today in U.P. Hindi Sahitya
Sammelan v. State of U.P. [Civil Appeal No. 459 of 1997], the appeal shall
now be posted before the regular Bench.

….………..……………………CJI.
(R.M. Lodha)
…….………..……………………J.
(Dipak Misra)
…….………..……………………J. (Madan B. Lokur)
…….………..……………………J.
(Kurian Joseph)
NEW DELHI; …….………..……………………J.
SEPTEMBER 4, 2014. (S.A. Bobde)
———————–
?
Part XVII
343. Official language of the Union.- (1) The official language of
the Union shall be Hindi in Devanagari script.
The form of numerals to be used for the official purposes of the
Union shall be the international form of Indian numerals.

(2) Notwithstanding anything in clause (1), for a period of fifteen
years from the commencement of this Constitution, the English language
shall continue to be used for all the official purposes of the Union for
which it was being used immediately before such commencement:
Provided that the President may, during the said period, by order
authorise the use of the Hindi language in addition to the English language
and of the Devanagari form of numerals in addition to the international
form of Indian numerals for any of the official purposes of the Union.

(3) Notwithstanding anything in this article, Parliament may by law
provide for the use, after the said period of fifteen years, of –

(a) the English language, or
(b) the Devanagari form of numerals,
for such purposes as may be specified in the law.

344. Commission and Committee of Parliament on official language.-

(1) The President shall, at the expiration of five years from the
commencement of this Constitution and thereafter at the expiration of ten
years from such commencement, by order constitute a Commission which shall
consist of a Chairman and such other members representing the different
languages specified in the Eighth Schedule as the President may appoint,
and the order shall define the procedure to be followed by the Commission.
(2) It shall be the duty of the Commission to make recommendations to
the President as to-
(a) the progressive use of the Hindi language for the official
purposes of the Union;
(b) restrictions on the use of the English language for all or any of
the official purposes of the Union;
(c) the language to be used for all or any of the purposes mentioned
in article 348;
(d) the form of numerals to be used for any one or more specified
purposes of the Union;
(e) any other matter referred to the Commission by the President as
regards the official language of the Union and the language for
communication between the Union and a State or between one State and
another and their use.
(3) In making their recommendations under clause (2), the Commission
shall have due regard to the industrial, cultural and scientific
advancement of India, and the just claims and the interests of persons
belonging to the non-Hindi speaking areas in regard to the public services.
(4) There shall be constituted a Committee consisting of thirty
members, of whom twenty shall be members of the House of the People and ten
shall be members of the Council of States to be elected respectively by the
members of the House of the People and the members of the Council of States
in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of
the single transferable vote.
(5) It shall be the duty of the Committee to examine the
recommendations of the Commission constituted under clause (1) and to
report to the President their opinion thereon.
(6) Notwithstanding anything in article 343, the President may, after
consideration of the report referred to in clause (5), issue directions in
accordance with the whole or any part of that report.

345. Official language or languages of a State.- Subject to the
provisions of articles 346 and 347, the Legislature of a State may by law
adopt any one or more of the languages in use in the State or Hindi as the
language or languages to be used for all or any of the official purposes of
that State:
Provided that, until the Legislature of the State otherwise provides
by law, the English language shall continue to be used for those official
purposes within the State for which it was being used immediately before
the commencement of this Constitution.

346. Official language for communication between one State and
another or between a State and the Union.- The language for the time being
authorised for use in the Union for official purposes shall be the official
language for communication between one State and another State and between
a State and the Union:
Provided that if two or more States agree that the Hindi language
should be the official language for communication between such States, that
language may be used for such communication.

347. Special provision relating to language spoken by a section of
the population of a State.-
On a demand being made in that behalf the President may, if he is
satisfied that a substantial proportion of the population of a State desire
the use of any language spoken by them to be recognised by that State,
direct that such language shall also be officially recognised throughout
that State or any part thereof for such purpose as he may specify.

348. Language to be used in the Supreme Court and in the High Courts
and for Acts, Bills, etc.-
(1) Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this
Part, until Parliament by law otherwise provides-
(a) all proceedings in the Supreme Court and in every High Court,
(b) the authoritative texts-
(i) of all Bills to be introduced or amendments thereto to be moved
in either House of Parliament or in the House or either House of the
Legislature of a State,
(ii) of all Acts passed by Parliament or the Legislature of a State
and of all Ordinances promulgated by the President or the Governor  of a
State, and
(iii) of all orders, rules, regulations and bye-laws issued under
this Constitution or under any law made by Parliament or the Legislature of
a State, shall be in the English language.
(2) Notwithstanding anything in sub-clause (a) of clause (1), the
Governor of a State may, with the previous consent of the President,
authorise the use of the 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:
Provided that nothing in this clause shall apply to any judgment,
decree or order passed or made by such High Court.
(3) Notwithstanding anything in sub-clause (b) of clause (1), where
the Legislature of a State has prescribed any language other than the
English language for use in Bills introduced in, or Acts passed by, the
Legislature of the State or in Ordinances promulgated by the Governor of
the State or in any order, rule, regulation or bye-law referred to in
paragraph (iii) of that sub-clause, a translation of the same in the
English language published under the authority of the Governor of the State
in the Official Gazette of that State shall be deemed to be the
authoritative text thereof in the English language under this article.

349. Special procedure for enactment of certain laws relating to
language.- During the period of fifteen years from the commencement of this
Constitution, no Bill or amendment making provision for the language to be
used for any of the purposes mentioned in clause (1) of article 348 shall
be introduced or moved in either House of Parliament without the previous
sanction of the President, and the President shall not give his sanction to
the introduction of any such Bill or the moving of any such amendment
except after he has taken into consideration the recommendations of the
Commission constituted under clause (1) of article 344 and the report of
the Committee constituted under clause (4) of that article.

350. Language to be used in representations for redress of
grievances.- Every person shall be entitled to submit a representation for
the redress of any grievance to any officer or authority of the Union or a
State in any of the languages used in the Union or in the State, as the
case may be.
350A. Facilities for instruction in mother-tongue at primary stage.-
It shall be the endeavour of every State and of every local authority
within the State to provide adequate facilities for instruction in the
mother-tongue at the primary stage of education to children belonging to
linguistic minority groups; and the President may issue such directions to
any State as he considers necessary or proper for securing the provision of
such facilities.
350B. Special Officer for linguistic minorities.-
(1) There shall be a Special Officer for linguistic minorities to be
appointed by the President.
(2) It shall be the duty of the Special Officer to investigate all
matters relating to the safeguards provided for linguistic minorities under
this Constitution and report to the President upon those matters at such
intervals as the President may direct, and the President shall cause all
such reports to be laid before each House of Parliament, and sent to the
Governments of the States concerned.

351. Directive for development of the Hindi language. -It shall be
the duty of the Union to promote the spread of the Hindi language, to
develop it so that it may serve as a medium of expression for all the
elements of the composite culture of India and to secure its enrichment by
assimilating without interfering with its genius, the forms, style and
expressions used in Hindustani and in the other languages of India
specified in the Eighth Schedule, and by drawing, wherever necessary or
desirable, for its vocabulary, primarily on Sanskrit and secondarily on
other languages.

¥ 23.2 The provisions of our Constitution relating to language have
raised no serious questions of legal interpretation, but they have raised
serious political problems. It is outside the scope of this work to
describe in detail the various phases of the controversy about language
which resulted in the enactment of Part XVII of our Constitution. Nor is it
necessary to do so, for a well documented and vivid account of the forces
at play has been given by Austin in his chapter entitled “Language and the
Constitution — the Half-hearted Compromise”. The chapter repays study, but
its effect may be stated thus: in his struggle for political freedom,
Mahatma Gandhi raised the question of a national language. He described it
at times as Hindi, and at times as Hindustani, but he understood by both a
language which was neither Sanskritised Hindi nor Persianised Urdu, but a
happy blend of both, written either in the Devanagari or the Persian
script. However the question of language did not receive much attention
till it was forced upon the Constituent Assembly. On political and
psychological grounds there was a general demand for a national language.
But difficulties became apparent when that demand had to be translated into
constitutional provisions. The need for unity among the Indian people was
undisputed, and English had supplied that basic unity by uniting the people
of the North, whose language was derived from Sanskrit or Persian, and the
people of the South speaking Dravidian languages which were not so derived.
Again, administration at the higher levels, higher education, the
legislature, the law courts, and the professions, all used English, and the
question was which language should take the place of English and when? Till
the partition of India, Hindustani in both the Devanagari and the Persian
script held the field. With the partition of India the cause of Hindustani
was lost, though Mahatma Gandhi held that the Indian National Congress
ought to stand for a broad outlook and should stand firm on a language
which was spoken by the largest group of people. Though Hindi was selected
as the official language, it could not be described as the national
language, for, it was not the language generally spoken in all parts of
India, and though spoken by the largest single group of people, that group
did not constitute the majority of people in India. Besides, there were
regional languages such as Bengali in Bengal, Tamil in Madras, Marathi and
Gujarati in the erstwhile State of Bombay which were spoken by large
populations and it was claimed for those languages that they were more
developed than Hindi. Hindi was therefore described as the official
language. In the Constituent Assembly, the protagonists of Hindi were
prepared to abandon the basis of consensus on which the Assembly had
functioned; but their extreme methods provoked a reaction and some who had
supported them earlier withdrew their support. The leaders of the Congress
party, who formed the government of the day, counselled moderation, for
they were brought in close contact with the difficulties involved in making
the transition from English to an Indian language. It appeared at one stage
that the unity which had existed in the Constituent Assembly would break
down on the provisions relating to language. But. at the last moment, a
compromise formula called the “Munshi-Ayyangar formula” was evolved and was
accepted without dissent. It was a half-hearted compromise, for it gave to
neither party what it wanted. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru told the Constituent
Assembly, that he would not have accepted Hindi as. the official language
if express provision had not been made that Hindi did not exclude
Hindustani, that it was not to be the language of a learned coterie and
that Hindi was to be based on the composite culture of India assimilating
words from all languages. A period of 15 years was provided during which
English was to continue but this was a flexible limit, for Parliament could
extend it. The battle over numerals was settled in favour of “the
international form of Indian numerals” — a euphemism for Arabic numerals,
with a proviso that after 15 years Parliament might by law provide for the
use of the Devanagari form of numerals for such purposes as may be
specified.

8 (Reference is made to Granville Austin, the Indian Constitution –
Cornerstone of a Nation, Ninth Impression, 2005, Pg. 266)
* (3rd Edition, 2010 at pp. 1113-1114)
P (Schiffman, Harold. “Language policy and linguistic culture”. An
introduction to language policy: Theory and method (2006) : 111-125)
[1] Sri Nasiruddin v. State Transport Appellate Tribunal; [(1975) 2 SCC
671]
€ 14. Powers conferred to be exercisable from time to time.—(1) Where,
by any Central Act or Regulation made after the commencement of this Act,
any power is conferred then unless a different intention appears that power
may be exercised from time to time as occasion requires.
(2) This section applies also to all Central Acts and Regulations
made on or after the fourteenth day of January, 1887.

———————–
27

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