States can have more than 1 official language: SC

States can have more than 1 official language: SC

The Supreme Court on Thursday said that a state can have more than one official language as language laws in the country were evolving with an objective to secure linguistic secularism.

A five-judge Constitution bench presided over by Chief Justice of India, Justice R M Lodha, said that there was nothing in the Constitution which barred a state government to declare one or more languages used in the state, in addition to Hindi, as the second official language.

The court passed the ruling while upholding Uttar Pradesh Official Language (Amendment) Act, 1989, which declared Urdu as second official language of the state.

“Nothing in Article 345 (Official language or languages of a state), 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,” the bench, also comprising Justices Dipak Misra, Madan B Lokur, Kurian Joseph and S A Bobde, said.

“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," the bench added.The court said, there are many state Legislatures which have adopted other officially recognised language(s) in addition to Hindi such as Bihar, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get the top news in your inbox
GET IT
Comments (+)