Hindi is the “Official Language of India” and Not the “National Language of India”

In the year 2009, Mr.Suresh Kachhadia filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Gujarath High Court, seeking mandamus to the Central Government of India, as well as the State Government of Gujarath to:

  • make it mandatory for manufacture of goods to print in Hindi, all the details of goods like price, ingredients and the date of manufacture, as the consumers are entitled to know the details of what they are consuming.

It was argued that:

  • As per the ‘Standard of Weights and Measures (Packaged Commodities) Rules’ such details on packets should be either in English or in Hindi in Devanagari script and
  • Because Hindi is the national language and is understood by a large number of people in the country, directions should be given to publish all such details in Hindi

A bench headed by Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhaya heard the above case and refused to issue directions that packaged commodities must contain details about goods in Hindi with the following observations that :

  • though a majority of people in India have accepted Hindi as the national language, and many people speak Hindi and write Hindi in Devangiri Script, Hindi is not officially the ‘National Language of India”.

According to Judgement by Gujarath High Court :

  • The Constitution of India has given Hindi the status of the “Official Language” and not the national language.
  • There is no notification ever issued by the Government of India, saying that Hindi is the National Language of India and hence
  • Hindi is the ‘Official Language of India and not the “National Language” of India.

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