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Provide high court judgments in regional languages: President

Kochi, Oct 28 (IANS) President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday asked for formulation of a system to provide copies of high court judgments in local or regional language to make them “understandable to litigating parties in a language they know”.

He also said that the delay in justice delivery was “a pressing concern” in the country.

“High Courts deliver judgements in English, but we are a country of diverse languages. The litigant may not be conversant with English and the finer points of the judgment may escape him or her,” Kovind said while addressing the valedictory function of the Kerala High Court’s diamond jubilee celebrations.

“The litigating parties will thus be dependent on the lawyer or another person to translate the judgment. This can add to time and cost.”

The President said a system could be evolved to make “certified translated copies of judgments” available by the high courts in the local or regional language.

“This could happen in a period of say 24 or 36 hours after the judgement is pronounced. The language could be Malayalam in the Kerala High Court or Hindi in the Patna High Court, as the case may be,” he said.

Kovind suggested that the judiciary and the legal fraternity could to discuss it and take “appropriate” decision.

Calling the delay in justice delivery a pressing concern, he asked for mechanisms to ensure quick disposal of cases, since “often those who suffer are among the poorest and most underprivileged in our society”.

The President said that an approach could be considered to make “adjournments the exception in an emergency situation rather than a tactic to prolong court proceedings”.

“We must find a way forward. And I am happy to note that the judiciary in moving ahead in this direction,” he said.

Kovind said the society and economy had become more complex and more integrated with the global system.

“The challenges before the judiciary too have grown. The nature of disputes and cases that come to our courts has gradually undergone change,” he said.

“The dynamism and evolution in business and trade law and in financial markets; the changing nature of intellectual property and technology; and the still emerging norms of the digital sphere and of Internet law and governance – these are among examples of new questions and frameworks that the judiciary has had to grapple with. It has done so admirably and with enlightenment and thought.”

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