MADURAI: A vacation bench of the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court recently asked the Centre to explore the possibility of translating and publishing the Forest Conservation Amendment Bill 2023 in all vernacular languages and ordered an interim stay on further proceedings on the bill. The matter has been posted to June 16 for further hearing.
Justices MS Ramesh and PT Asha passed the order in a PIL filed by Theeran Thirumurugan to prepare a translated copy of the Bill in Tamil and upload the same on the website and invite suggestions on the law.
The court said a press communique issued on May 3, 2023 invited suggestions on examination of the Bill from the public, experts, NGOs, stakeholders and institutions. The communique said suggestions were required to be sent in English or Hindi. However, the petitioner sought the court direction to upload the Tamil translation of the bill and also accept suggestions in Tamil.
Though the Centre calling for suggestions from the public is laudable, if the bill or communique were not made available in vernacular languages, the intent behind calling for suggestions from the public would be defeated, the court observed.
The court said that they did not desire to stall an important amendment bill, but the petitioner’s objective behind calling for suggestions would be well met if the bill is translated and published in the website and suggestions be called in all the vernacular languages.