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Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann posted a tweet in Punjabi on his official Twitter Handle i.e. @BhagwantMann which mentions –Punjab Punjabiyat first ! Mother tongue Punjabi has been made mandatory in the aptitude test for government jobs. At least 50% marks will be mandatory in the test. Mother tongue Punjabi is our identity all over the world. The aim of our government is to promote Punjabi in all aspects.

However, an Advocate at Punjab & Haryana High Court, Hemant Kumar, says that when after reading the above tweet of CM Mann, he checked the Official Gazette Notification as issued by State Government’s Department of General Administration, Cabinet Affairs Branch pertaining to dismissal/sacking of Dr. Vijay Singla, then Cabinet Minister of Punjab who was holding portfolios of Health and Family Welfare and Medical Education & Research in Mann’s Council of Ministers on May 24, the Notification of which which got published in Punjab Government Gazette Extraordinary dated May 24 itself, he was utterly surprised to see that such Notification has been issued and published only in English language.

Not only that, Hemant avers that ever since Mann got appointed as Chief Minister of Punjab on March 16, 2022 followed by appointment of Ministers in his Cabinet/Council of Ministers on March 19, and thereafter allocation of portfolios to all Cabinet Ministers by Punjab Governor on the advice of CM Mann, every such Gazette Notification has been published only in English Language as is currently available/.uploaded on official website of Punjab Government under the head E-Gazette Notifications.

Not only that, even Gazette Notification dated 4 May 2022 pertaining to election of S. Kultar Singh Sandhwan, who although got elected as Speaker of current 16th Punjab Assembly on 21 March 2022, has been issued and published in Punjab Government Gazette by Vidhan Sabha Secretariat only in English language.

One seriously wonders why such important sort of Gazette Notifications are not being issued and published in Punjabi language by various Departments of State Government as well as by Punjab Vidhan Sabha Secretariat when Chief Minister Mann is himself glorifying and promoting the usage of Punjabi language in the state.

Further, quoting Punjab Official Language Act, 1967, as applicable in the State of Punjab with effect from 29 December 1967, Advocate Hemant says as per Section 3 of ibid Act the official language of the State of Punjab shall be Punjabi.

Hence, every Notification, be it statutory or non-statutory (executive) should be mandatorily issued and published originally in Punjab Government Gazette in State’s Official Language i.e. Punjabi although it can be accompanied by its Authorized English Translation so that those who can’t read Punjabi can also understand the text of the same.

About the author:
Hemant Kumar

Hemant Kumar Hemant Kumar is a practicing advocate in Punjab and Haryana High Court. He raises the public centric issues

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