Hindi is not national language: Gujarat HC

The court, however, said a majority of people in India have accepted Hindi as a national language.

The observation was made by a division bench of Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhaya and justice A S Dave recently while rejecting a public interest litigation (PIL) by Suresh Kachhadia.

Kachhadia had filed the PIL last year seeking direction to Central and state governments to make it mandatory for manufacturers to print details of goods like price, ingredients and date of manufacture in Hindi.

The court observed: “Normally, in India, a majority of the people have accepted Hindi as a national language and many people speak Hindi and write in Devanagari script but there is nothing on record to suggest that any provision has been made or order issued declaring Hindi as a national language of the country.

“No mandamus can be issued on any manufacturer or others for giving details or particulars of package in Hindi in Devanagari script,” it said.

It was contended by Kachhadia’s lawyer that Hindi is the national language and understood by a large number of people in the country.

Counsel representing the Centre submitted that specific provision has been made under the Standard of Weight and Measures Rules of 1977 that particulars of declaration should be in Hindi in Devanagari script or in English.

The court said the Constituent Assembly while discussing the language formula noticed the recommendation of the sub-committee on fundamental rights, which recommended the formula as per which, “Hindustani, written either in Devanagari or the Persian script at the option of the citizen, shall, as the national language, be the first official language of the Union. English shall be the second official language for such period as the Union may, by law, determine.”

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