Should the translations of judgments and documents which are submitted in English language to the District Court be rendered in Sinhala language? Order to be refixed on July 15th…!
Posted on June 20th, 2020

Media Unit, Dr Thilaka Padma Subasinghe Memorial Law Education Programme,

A preliminary objection has been taken under Section 39 of the Judicature Act that a rent case filed in the District Court of Colombo has no jurisdiction for the case to proceed.

The inquiry regarding the preliminary objection was held by way of written submissions and the plaintiff’s lawyer had submitted the written submissions along with judgments and several letters in English language.

The district court rejected the preliminary objection raised regarding that there was no jurisdiction to proceed the case after considering the written submissions and ordered to file the answer.

Accordingly, the defendant had filed the answer with a cross claim and request for the translations of the judgements and other documents in Sinhala language which were filed with written submissions on behalf of the plaintiff under Article 24.3 of the Constitution and procedural procedure of the District court  before commencing the pre trial.

Article 24.3 of the Constitution is as follows;

Any judge, juror, party or applicant or any person legally entitled to represent such party or applicant, who is not conversant with the language used in a court, shall be entitled to interpretation and to translation into Sinhala or Tamil provided by the State, to enable him to understand and participate in the proceedings before such court and shall also be entitled to obtain in such language any such part of the record or a translation thereof, as the case may be, as he may be entitled to obtain according to law.

The order regading the translations to be obtained in Sinhala language was to be delivered on April 2nd, but due to the curfew imposed by the Covid-19 situation, the cases which were reserved for calling on 2nd of April were called on 15th of June and the above mentioned order was again reseved on July 15th.

This legal issue is considered in Court number 03 of the District Court of Colombo.

This is an English translation of the article:
‘දිසා අධිකරණයට ඉංග්‍රීසි භාෂාවෙන් ඉදිරිපත් කරන නඩු තීන්දු සහ ලේඛනවල පරිවර්තන සිංහල භාෂාවෙන් ලබා දිය යුතුද? නියෝගය ජූලි 15 ට කල් යයි…!’ Media Unit,
Dr Thilaka Padma Subasinghe Memorial Law Education Programme,

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