The Supreme Court recently started its endeavour of translating few of its judgments into local languages. This initiative got the impetus after the President of India spoke about the need of making Supreme Court judgments understable to everyone, including those who do not understand English. The Supreme Court is using Artificial Intelligennce tools to do the required translation. Few instances of faulty translations have also been noticed. Nevertheless, translational of judgments into local languages is a good step. It remains to be seen whether the system will remain in vogue during the tenure of future Chief Justices. 

Recently, member of Lok Sabha from Peddapelle, Telegana asked the Government about the translation of judgments by Supreme Court. The questions were-

"a) whether the Government is aware that a new App to read the Supreme Court (SC) judgments has been developed/is in the process of being developed to read judgments in various languages including Telugu and if so, the details thereof and the progress made in this regard so far;

b) whether the Government is aware that SC judgments would be translated and uploaded on its website in some vernacular languages of the country including Telugu language;

c) if so, the details thereof including the names of such languages and the progress made in this regard so far including the steps, if any, taken by the Government to include Tamil language for this purpose; and

d) the details of the funds allocated and utilised so far for this purpose?"

 The Union Minister replied on 24 July 2019 and stated the following-

"Usage of Artificial Intelligence in translation of Supreme Court Judgments into regional languages including Telugu is under contemplation. An Artificial Intelligence Committee has been constituted lately and the proposal contemplating usage of Artificial Intelligence in translation of judgment of Supreme Court is at the initial stage.

(b) & (c): At present, judgments in nine vernacular languages, including Telugu, are being translated and uploaded on the website of the Supreme Court of India. The nine languages are: Assamese, Bengali, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Odiya, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. The translation of judgments relates to cases arising under the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India in relation to the following subject categories:

1. Labour matters;

2. Rent Act matters;

3. Land Acquisition and Requisition matters;

4. Service matters;

5. Compensation matters;

6. Criminal matters;

7. Family Law matters;

8. Ordinary Civil matters

9. Personal Law matters;

10. Religious and Charitable Endowments matters; 

11. Simple money and Mortgage matters;

12. Eviction under the Public Premises (Eviction) Act matters;

13. Land Laws and Agriculture Tenancies; and

14. Matters relating to Consumer Protection.

(d): No separate fund has been allocated for the purpose, so far."

 It is rather telling that such detailed information was not shared by the Judiciary, but is coming only from the Government. Apart from AI, a manual intervention is also required to check the accuracy of translation. 

 

http://164.100.47.194/Loksabha/Questions/QResult15.aspx?qref=5498&lsno=17

 

 

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