After a week-long deadlock over allowing a lawyer to present his argument in Tamil in the court, Justice S Manikumar of the Madurai Bench of High Court granted permission on Friday.
Manikumar had dismissed the petition of counsel G Bhagvath Singh on 11th July citing a precedent laid by the Supreme Court. Bhagvath Singh had appeared for Ayesha Babu, a daily wage earner from Kovilpatti in Thoothukudi district, seeking the court’s intervention to rescue her husband Bakeer Maideen, stranded in Mecca for the last 21 months.
The lawyer had made a request to argue in Tamil. However, the judge directed the counsel to present arguments in English, the only accepted language of communication in higher courts as per Article 348 of the Indian Constitution.
Many advocate associations in the Madurai Bench made a representation to Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Kumar Agrawal. They also made representation to the Justice Manikumar to allow Tamil to be used.
On Friday when the case was recalled for hearing, the Madurai Bar Association secretary, Advocate A K Ramasamy told the judge that they would like to argue the case in Tamil. Justice Manikumar immediately granted permission for the case to be argued in Tamil in his court hall.
Counsel Bhagvath Singh then told the judge that as the case was already dismissed, he would file an appeal in the division bench.
“Since the earlier order has not been reversed we will be file an appeal against it,” the counsel told reporters.
A group of advocates waiting outside the court hall welcomed the decision of the judge.
Thirunavukarasu, president of Madurai Bench High Court Advocates Association (MBHAA) said, “Justice Manikumar’s decision will set an example for other judges to allow arguments in Tamil.”