September 08 , 2017


SC moved to implement verdict about Urdu language

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) was moved on Thursday to fix for hearing a pending plea relating to implementation of its judgment delivered on September 8, 2015, directing the federal and provincial governments to ensure Urdu was used as official language without unnecessary delay.

Advocate Muhammad Kokab Iqbal, the petitioner, said that the apex court had declared Urdu as official language in its verdict. “However, the decision has not yet been implemented in letter and spirit,” he said.

A three-member SC bench, headed by former Chief Justice Jawad S Khawaja and comprising Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Qazi Faez Isa, had announced the judgment in the petitions filed by advocate Kokab Iqbal and a citizen, Mahmood Akhtar Naqvi, praying for the implementation of Article 251 of the Constitution. It commands the state to adopt Urdu as the official language of the country and also stipulates that steps may be taken by the provinces for the promotion of provincial languages.

The court had directed the federal and provincial governments to ensure declaring Urdu as official language without unnecessary delay by implementing Article 251 of the Constitution with full force and ensure translating the federal and provincial laws in national language within three months.

The court had ruled that if, subsequent to the judgment, any public bodies or public officials continued to violate the constitutional command contained in Article 251, citizens who suffered a tangible loss directly and foreseeably resulting from such violation should be entitled to enforce any civil rights which might accrue to them on this account.

Article 251 reads that the national language of Pakistan is Urdu and arrangements shall be made for its being used for official and other purposes within 15 years from the commencing day.

The court had directed the federal government and the provincial governments to coordinate with each other for uniformity in the “rasmulkhat” for the national language. It had also directed that federal as well as provincial laws should be translated into the national language within three months besides directing that judgments in cases relating to public interest litigation and judgments enunciating a principle of law in terms of Article 189 must be translated in Urdu and should be published in line with Article 251 of the Constitution.

The petitioner further informed the court that last year, he had also filed an application requesting for fixing his pending plea regarding implementation of its judgment, but the application had not been fixed yet. He said that the CSS examination was still being conducted in English, violating the apex court verdict. “Similarly, the government and semi-government institutions are still not abiding by the orders of the apex court. Urdu is not being officially used and most of the institutions are corresponding in English,” Kokab said.



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