Part XVII - Official Language
I Language of the Union
343 Official language of the Union
(1) The official
language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devanagari script.
form of numerals to be used for the official purposes of the Union
shall be the international form of Indian numerals.
Notwithstanding anything in clause (1), for a period of fifteen years
from the commencement of this Constitution, the English language
shall continue to be used for all the official purposes of the Union
for which it was being used immediately before such
Provided that the President may, during the said
period, by order authorise the use of the Hindi language in addition
to the English language and of the Devanagari form of numerals in
addition to the international form of Indian numerals for any of
official purposes of the Union.
(3) Notwithstanding anything in
this article, Parliament may by law provide for the use, after the
said period of fifteen years, of -
(a) the English language,
(b) the Devanagari form of numerals, for such purposes as may
be specified in the law.
344 Commission and Committee of Parliament on official language
The President shall, at the expiration of five years from the
commencement of this Constitution and thereafter at the expiration of
ten years from such commencement, by order constitute a Commission
which shall consist of a Chairman and such other members representing
the different languages specified in the Eighth Schedule as the
President may appoint, and the order shall define the procedure to be
followed by the Commission.
(2) It shall be the duty of the
Commission to make recommendations to the President as to -
the progressive use of the Hindi language for the official purposes
of the Union;
(b) restrictions on the use of the English
language for all or any of the official purposes of the Union;
the language to be used for all or any of the purposes mentioned in
(d) the form of numerals to be used for any one or
more specified purposes of the Union;
(e) any other matter
referred to the Commission by the President as regards the official
language of the Union and the language for communication between the
Union and a State or between one State and another and their use.
In making their recommendations under clause (2), the Commission
shall have due regard to the industrial, cultural and scientific
advancement of India, and the just claims and the interests of
persons belonging to the non-Hindi speaking areas in regard to the
(4) There shall be constituted a Committee
consisting 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
(5) It shall be the duty of the Committee to
examine the recommendations of the Commission constituted under
clause (1) and to report to the President their opinion thereon.
Notwithstanding anything in article 343, the President may, after
consideration of the report referred to in clause (5), issue
directions in accordance with the whole or any part of that report.
II Regional Languages
345 Official language or languages of a State
Subject to the
provisions of articles 346 and 347, the Legislature of a State may by
law adopt any one or more of the languages in use in the State or
Hindi as the Language or Languages to be used for all or any of the
official purposes of that State; Provided that, until the Legislature
of the State otherwise provides by law, the English language shall
continue to be used for those official purposes within the State for
which it was being used immediately before the commencement of this
346 Official language for communication between one State and another
or between a State and the Union
The language for the time
being authorised for use in the Union for official purposes shall be
the official language for
communication between one State and
another State and between a State and the Union:
if two or more States agree that the Hindi language should be the
official language for communication between such States, that
language may be used for such communication.
347 Special provision relating to language spoken by a section of the
population of a State
On a demand being made in that behalf
the President may, if he is satisfied that a substantial proportion
of the population of a State desire the use of any language spoken by
them to be recognised by that state, direct that such language shall
also be officially recognised throughout that State or any part
thereof for such purpose as he may specify.
III Language of the Supreme Court, High Courts, etc.
348 Language to be used in the Supreme Court and in the High Courts
and for Acts, Bills, etc.
(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 -
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
Provided that nothing in this clause shall apply to
any judgment, decree or order passed or made by such High Court.
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.
349 Special procedure for enactment of certain laws relating to
During the period of fifteen years from the
commencement of this Constitution, no Bill or amendment making
provision for the language to be used for any of the purposes
mentioned in clause (1) of article 348 shall be introduced or moved
in either House of Parliament without the previous sanction of the
President, and the President shall not give his sanction to the
introduction of any such Bill or the moving of any such amendment
except after he has taken into consideration the recommendations of
the Commission constituted under clause (1) of article 344 and the
report of the Committee constituted under clause (4) of that article.
IV Special Directives
350 Language to be used in representations for redress of
Every person shall be entitled to submit a
representation for the redress of any grievance to any officer or
authority of the Union or a State in any of the languages used in the
Union or in the State, as the case may be.
350A Facilities for instruction in mother-tongue at primary stage
shall be the endeavour of every State and of every local authority
within the State to provide adequate facilities for instruction in
the mother-tongue at the primary stage of education to children
belonging to linguistic minority groups and the President may issue
such directions to any State as he considers necessary or proper for
securing the provision of such facilities.
350B Special Officer for linguistic minorities
There shall be a Special Officer for linguistic minorities to be
appointed by the President.
(2) It shall be the duty of the
Special Officer to investigate all matters relating to the safeguards
provided for linguistic minorities under this Constitution and report
to the President upon those matters at such intervals as the
President may direct, and the President shall cause all such reports
to be laid before each House of Parliament, and sent to the
Government of the States concerned.
351 Directive for development of the Hindi language
be the duty of the Union to promote the spread of the Hindi language,
to develop it so that it may serve as a medium of expression for all
the elements of the composite culture of India and to secure its
enrichment by assimilating without interfering with its genius, the
forms style and expressions used in Hindustani and in the other
languages of India specified in the Eighth Schedule, and by drawing,
wherever necessary or desirable, for its vocabulary, primarily on
Sanskrit and secondarily on other languages.