Reminds him that Tamil Nadu is exempted from implementation of Officials Languages Act
MP Su. Venkatesan has taken exception to a reply sent in Hindi by Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai, stating that it violates legal and procedural aspects.
In a letter, Mr. Venkatesan said the Minister’s letter, dated November 9, was in Hindi. “Since the letter was in Hindi, I was not in a position to understand the contents,” he said. Recalling that he had written to the Minister in October demanding examination centres in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry for recruitment of CRPF para medical staff, Mr. Venkatesan said he had to assume that the letter in Hindi was his response to his letter.
Mr. Venkatesan said the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, had assured that Hindi would not be imposed as official language on non-Hindi speaking States, including Tamil Nadu, in 1963. This promise was reinforced by his successors, Lal Bahadur Sastri in 1965 and Indira Gandhi in 1967 through amendments to the Official Languages Act.
“These rules may be called the Officials Languages (Use for Official purposes of the Union) Rules, 1976. They shall extend to the whole of India, except the State of Tamil Nadu,” the MP said quoting the Act.
Similarly, rules dealing with States grouped under “C” Category, in separate footing with regard to implementation of OL Act, said “Communications from a Central government office to State or Union Territory in Region “C” or to any office (not being a central government office) or person in such State shall be in English.”
“Hence, the approach of your ministry giving reply in Hindi is clear violation of the above provisions of the Act,” the Communist Party of India (Marxist) MP said.
Mr. Venkatesan also quoted an excerpt from an 2011 original circular under official dealings between administration and Members of Parliament and State Legislatures – Observance of Proper procedure issued by Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. “Wherever any letter from an MP is in English and the reply is required to be given in Hindi in terms of OL Act, 1963, and the rules framed under, an English translation should also sent along with the reply for the convenience of such members from non-Hindi speaking areas,” it said.
Mr. Venkatesan said the Minister’s letter in Hindi without English translation was in violation of the latest Office Memorandum which was necessitated only because of such violations in the past.
Expressing anguish that the government itself was violating laws and procedures repeatedly, he appealed to the Minister to ensure honouring of unique assurance given to Tamil Nadu on implementation of legal provisions and respond to letters of MPs from the State in English.
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