Official Languages Act, 1963

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REGISTERED No. D. 221

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EXTRAORDINARY

PART II—Section 1

PUBLISHED BY AUTHORITY



No. 16] NEW DELHI, SATURDAY, MAY 11, 1963/VAISAKHA 21, 1885



MINISTRY OF LAW

(Legislative Department)

New Delhi, the 11th May, 1963/Vaisakha 21, 1885 (Saka)

The following Act of Parliament received the assent of the President on the 10th May, 1963 and is hereby published for general information:-

THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT, 1963


No. 19 OF 1963

[10th May, 1963]

An Act to provide for the languages which may be used for the official purposes of the Union, for transaction of business in Parliament, for Central and State Acts and for certain purposes in High Courts.

BE it enacted by Parliament in the Fourteenth Year of the Republic of India as follows:-

Short title, extent and commencement.  1. (1) This Act may be called the Official Languages Act, 1963.

(2) Section 3 shall come into force on the 26th day of January, 1965 and the remaining provisions of this Act shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint and different dates may be appointed for different provisions of this Act.

Definitions.  2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,-

(a) "appointed day", in relation to section 3, means the 26th day of January, 1965 and in relation to any other provision of this Act, means the day on which that provision comes into force;
(b) "Hindi" means Hindi in Devanagari script.

Continuance of English language for official purposes of the Union and for use in Parliament.  3. Notwithstanding the expiration of the period of fifteen years from the commencement of the Constitution, the English language may, as from the appointed day, continue to be used, in addition to Hindi,-

(a) for all the official purposes of the Union for which it was being used immediately before that day; and
(b) for the transaction of business in Parliament.

Committee on Official Language.  4. (1) After the expiration of ten years from the date on which section 3 comes into force, there shall be constituted a Committee on Official Language, on a resolution to that effect being moved in either House of Parliament with the previous sanction of the President and passed by both Houses.

(2) The Committee shall consist of thirty members, of whom twenty shall be members of the House of the People and ten shall be members of the Council of States, to be elected respectively by the members of the House of the People and the members of the Council of States in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.

(3) It shall be the duty of the Committee to review the progress made in the use of Hindi for the official purposes of the Union and submit a report to the President making recommendations thereon and the President shall cause the report to be laid before each House of Parliament, and sent to all the State Governments.

(4) The President may, after consideration of the report referred to in sub-section (3), and the views, if any, expressed by the State Governments thereon, issue directions in accordance with the whole or any part of that report.

Authorised Hindi translation of Central Acts, etc.  5. (1) A translation in Hindi published under the authority of the President in the Official Gazette on and after the appointed day,

(a) of any Central Act or of any Ordinance promulgated by the President, or
(b) of any order, rule, regulation or bye-law issued under the Constitution or under any Central Act,

shall be deemed to be the authoritative text thereof in Hindi.

(2) As from the appointed day, the authoritative text in English language of all Bills to be introduced or amendments thereto to be moved in either House of Parliament shall be accompanied by a translation of the same in Hindi authorised in such manner as may be prescribed by rules made under this Act.

Authorised Hindi translation of State Acts in certain cases.  6. Where the Legislature of a State has prescribed any language other than Hindi for use in Acts passed by the Legislature of the State or in Ordinances promulgated by the Governor of the State, a translation of the same in Hindi, in addition to a translation thereof in the English language as required by clause (3) of article 348 of the Constitution, may be published on or after the appointed day under the authority of the Governor of the State in the Official Gazette of that State and in such a case, the translation in Hindi of any such Act or Ordinance shall be deemed to be the authoritative text thereof in the Hindi language.

Optional use of Hindi or other official language in judgments etc., of High Courts.  7. As from the appointed day or any day thereafter, the Governor of a State may, with the previous consent of the President, authorise the use of Hindi or the official language of the State, in addition to the English language, for the purposes of any judgment, decree or order passed or made by the High Court for that State and where any judgment, decree or order is passed or made in any such language (other than the English language), it shall be accompanied by a translation of the same in the English language issued under the authority of the High Court.

Power to makerules.  8. (1) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Act.

(2) Every rule made under this section shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament while it is in session for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two successive sessions, and if before the expiry of the session in which it is so laid or the session immediately following, both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or both Houses agree that the rule should not be made, the rule shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be, so however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rule.

Certain provisions not to apply to Jammu and Kashmir.  9. The provisions of section 6 and section 7 shall not apply to the State of Jammu and Kashmir.


R. C. S. SARKAR,
Secy. to the Govt. of India.

This work is the work of Government of India. Section 52(1)(q) of the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 allows for the reproduction or publication of-

  • any matter which has been published in any Official Gazette except an Act of a Legislature;
  • any Act of a Legislature subject to the condition that such Act is reproduced or published together with any commentary thereon or any other original matter;
  • the report of any committee, commission, council, board or other like body appointed by the government if such report has been laid on the Table of the Legislature, unless the reproduction or publication of such report is prohibited by the government;
  • any judgement or order of a court, Tribunal or other judicial authority, unless the reproduction or publication of such judgement or order is prohibited by the court, the Tribunal or other judicial authority, as the case may be.

The decision of the Supreme Court of India in "Eastern Book Company & Ors vs D.B. Modak & Anr" on 12 December, 2007 interpreted this section of the Act as making the material public domain.


This work is also in the public domain in the U.S.A. because it is an edict of a government, local or foreign. See § 206.01 of the Compendium II: Copyright Office Practices. Such documents include "judicial opinions, administrative rulings, legislative enactments, public ordinances, and similar official legal documents."