(1) Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this Part, until Parliament by law otherwise provides —


(a) all proceedings in the Supreme Court and in every High Court,


(b) the authoritative texts —


(i) of all Bills to be introduced or amendments thereto to be moved in either House of Parliament or in the House or either House of the Legislature of a State,


(ii) of all Acts passed by Parliament or the Legislature of a State and of all Ordinances promulgated by the President or the Governor of a State, and


(iii) of all orders, rules, regulations and bye-laws issued under this Constitution or under any law made by Parliament or the Legislature of a State,


shall be in the English language.


(2) Notwithstanding anything in sub-clause (a) of clause (1), the Governor of a State may, with the previous consent of the President, authorise the use of the Hindi language, or any other language used for any official purposes of the State, in proceedings in the High Court having its principal seat in that State: Provided that nothing in this clause shall apply to any judgment, decree or order passed or made by such High Court.


(3) Notwithstanding anything in sub-clause (b) of clause (1), where the Legislature of a State has prescribed any language other than the English language for use in Bills introduced in, or Acts passed by, the Legislature of the State or in Ordinances promulgated by the Governor of the State or in any order, rule, regulation or bye-law referred to in paragraph (iii) of that sub-clause, a translation of the same in the English language published under the authority of the Governor of the State in the Official Gazette of that State shall be deemed to be the authoritative text thereof in the English language under this article.

Debate Summary

Draft Article 301F (Article 348 of Constitution of India 1950) was absent in the Draft Constitution. A Drafting Committee Member introduced this provision as part of series of Articles on the official language of the Union and States on 12 September 1949.  It stated that the Supreme Court and High Courts would use English in all their proceedings. Further, all laws, ordinances, rules, regulations, orders and bye-laws would be in English.  


A Member proposed to impose a time limit of 15 years for the use of English by Courts and laws mentioned in the Draft Article.  


Another Member wanted to empower the State to opt to use Hindi or any other language for proceedings of the High Court in the concerned State. However, judgements, decrees and orders would be in English. Further, laws and rules passed in the State in another language would be accompanied by an English translation certified by the Governor.  


The Assembly accepted this amendment without debate. It adopted Draft Article 301F with amendment on 14 September 1949