Judgments of the Supreme Court of India will soon be available in six Indian languages. As per news reports, Hindi, Telugu, Assamese, Kannada, Marathi and Odia translations of Supreme Court judgments are set to be introduced on the Court’s website by the end of the month.
To this end, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi is reported to have formally cleared a software indigenously developed for the purpose by the Supreme Court’s “in-house” electronic software wing.
The move to make Supreme Court judgments multi-lingual is reportedly credited to a 2017 conference held in Kochi, during which President Ram Nath Kovind highlighted the need to render judgments in regional languages for the benefit of non-English speakers.
CJI Gogoi is said to have commenced working with the Supreme Court Registry to make available Supreme Court judgments in regional languages the same year. The six regional languages named above were chosen for the initial phase based on the volume of appeals coming in from the High Courts of the states where these languages are spoken. It is reported that a similar exercise will be taken in the second phase as well.
It is further reported that, to begin with, regional language translations of matters relating to individual litigants in civil disputes, criminal matters, landlord-tenant issues and matrimonial discord will be undertaken.
A source has been quoted as explaining that,
“This is because the idea is to ensure that the judgment is easily understood by the litigant, who may not be conversant with English.”