The Lakshadweep administration has told Kerala High Court that there is no need to publish draft legislations in Malayalam, which is the medium of instruction in schools.
This was stated in a counter-affidavit the administration filed on Monday in reply to a plea by the Lakshadweep Lok Sabha member and six others who sought judicial intervention to get all draft legislations published in Malayalam, and not just English.
P.P. Mohammed Faizal, who represents the Union Territory in the Lok Sabha, and others had in a writ petition said that all the draft legislations are published only in English, a language that majority of the islanders are not well-versed in.
They had sought the draft legislations and notifications to be published in Malayalam as well to help the people understand them and file their objections, if necessary.
But the administration has maintained that Malayalam has not been adopted as the official language in the Union Territory. “The language
mainly spoken by the people of Lakshadweep, except Minicoy, is ‘Jeseri’ which has no script and English is taught in all schools of Lakshadweep,” the administration told the court.
The lawmaker, had in his petition, cited the lack of people’s participation in the consultation process ahead of finalising rules governing the islanders because of the non-availability of the draft legislations in Malayalam. Another reason cited in the petition is the slow Internet speed that hampers downloads of the drafts from the administration’s website.
While the administration admitted the Internet speed was slow, it informed the court that objections and suggestions filed via email are more than letters.
According to the affidavit, the administration received 182 suggestions and objections via email while only 97 were received through the postal service.
But Faizal said the numbers were hardly significant since the population of the islands is around 68,000.