Notices Issued by SC In Plea Seeking Use of Plain Language in Legislations

Dr Subhash Vijayran filed a Petition-in-Person, seeking a direction from the Supreme Court for using plain language in the drafting of Government Communications.

A Bench comprising Hon’ble CJI SA Bobde, Hon’ble Justice AS Bopanna & Hon’ble Justice V. Ramasubramaniunof Supreme Court has issued notices in the Petition.

Petitioner has prayed that Government communications should be drafted in simple language. Further it has also been prayed for issuance of a handbook of laws for larger public interest and understanding of a layman.

CJI SA Bobde Observed:

“Another argument you should make is that if the English is not spoken with simplicity, then people will move away from using it at all.”

CJI S.A Bobde

Interestingly the Petitioner has also prayed that there should be page limit for pleadings and also a time limit for making oral arguments before the Supreme Court.

Further, the Petition states that drafting of most of the Advocates is wordy, unclear, pompous and dull. It is submitted that Lawyers use eight words to say something, which can be told in two words.

The petition has been filed on the premise that the entire legal system is for the common man and if the common man is not able to understand the law and system, then its a bad situation.

Petitioner has contended that the Legislature should enact unambiguous and precise laws. The attempt should be to use a simple and understandable English language.

Besides above, the Petition also seeks direction to Bar Council of India to introduce a compulsory subject of “Legal Writing in Plain English Langauge.” As a result of this, the students of Law would be able to draft Petitions in concise and precise language.

Additionally, the Plea states that layers of the Supreme Court should be more clear, concise, crisp and accurate in their pleadings.

It has been pleaded that except in exceptional cases, there should be a limit on pleading’s pages and time limit for oral arguments of counsels.

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