PIL in SC seeks use of plain language to make law understandable to laymen

A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court demanding issuance of guidelines for the use of easy language in all government communications, notification and documents keeping in mind the interest of the general public.

The petition also seeks that certain limits be set by presenting arguments and oral arguments before the Supreme Court.

The petition states that the writings of most lawyers are worrying, vague, bombastic and monotonous.

It has been argued that the constitution law and legal system is for the common man, and yet it is the common man who is most ignorant of the system and even takes the most precaution in it. Because the common citizen neither understands the system, nor the laws. Everything is so complicated and confusing the plea states that Article 14, if the public was not given access to justice  according to Articles 21 and 39A their fundamental right will be violated.

The plea argues that the Legislature and the Executive should make precise and unambiguous legislation and as far as possible, in easy language. In addition, a guide in plain English and other local languages ​​should be issued by the government to explain general public interest laws.

 It also calls on the Bar Council of India to introduce a compulsory subject to the LL.B course Legal Writing in Easy English where law students are taught how to draft precise and concise documents in plain English.

The petition also stated that the lawyers of the Supreme Court of India should make extra efforts to make their arguments clear, concise and precise.

For the parties court action and response, a 50-60 page limit should be fixed in the action and 20-30 page limit in the response. 

The demand limit has been increased to 20 minutes in short cases, 30 minutes in medium length and 40-60 in long cases.

The petitioner also sought a direction to the Bar Council of India to make the subject of Legal Writing in Plain English compulsory in the three 3-year and 5-year LLB courses.

By Priya Kumari