Discrimination or coincidence? Highest number of Central Laws translated into Gujarati; lowest in Bengali
The Minister of Law and Justice, Kiren Rijiju, told the Parliament that the highest number of laws translated was in Gujarati at 619 and lowest in Bengali with only 139 laws translated
The Minister of Law and Justice, Kiren Rijiju, told the Parliament that 619 laws have been translated into Gujarati so far, which is the highest number of laws translated in the country.
To make Central laws comprehensible and accessible to people in vernacular languages, these laws are to be translated into all the 22 official languages mentioned in the Eighths Schedule of the Constitution.
A scrutiny of the Central laws translated into regional languages, reveals that maximum numbers of laws were translated into Gujarati. On the other hand, only 139 laws have been translated into Bengali, which is the lowest. Whether it was just a coincidence or there is any pattern – cannot be commented on but CPI leader and Rajya Sabha MP, Binoy Viswam, believes “this is an exclusionary practice.”
Gujarati is followed by Marathi (381 laws translated) and Kannada (372 laws translated).
While 330 laws were translated into Urdu, 329 of the Central Acts have been translated into Malayalam, said the reply sent by the Legislative Department Official Languages Wing (LDOL) of the Ministry of Law and Justice.
Although there is no official estimate on the number of central laws that exist in the country, reliable studies say there exist over 4000 central laws.
Apart from the number of laws translated into regional languages, the CPI MP also sought to know about the vacant posts against the total positions sanctioned for the LDOL. As per the government’s own submission, there are 26 posts lying vacant against 75 posts.
On the question of official policy, the government said that there is no official policy on draft bills, rules and orders that are published on ministry websites for public comments.
Reacting to it, Viswam said that “this is an exclusionary practice and limits a large number of citizens from the public consultation process that affects them.”
“The government needs to seriously rethink this policy, and translate all draft bills, rules and orders published in the public domain to all official languages,” added Viswam.
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