THE AUTHORITATIVE TEXTS (CENTRAL LAWS) ACT, 1973

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The Authoritative Text (Central Laws )Act,1973 was passed by the parliament with the intend to legalize the translation of central enactments to different state official languages. The translation of different Central legislation to the official languages of various states is essential for the people of those States as well as for the executive purpose. The translation shall be done in any language except in Hindi and English. In 1960s, the Official Language (Legislative) Commission was assigned with similar function of translating the Central enactments, Ordinances and other laws into various State official languages. As per the prevailing practice, the translation of laws is done by or under the authority of the State Governments and confirmed by the Commission under the advice of the authority empowered for translation. Where there is no provision for the confirmation and publication, then the translation lacks legal validity and the effectiveness is restricted. Hence, it is required to create legal provision to publicize the translation of the enactments and other laws framed as per the terms of the Constitution or other Central enactments in the authorized languages of the State.

The Clause (1) of Section 5 provided under the Official Languages Act of 1963 deals with the Central legislation in Hindi and other connected matters. Currently, the exact terms is absent in the Authorized Translation (Central Laws) Act of 1973 that deals with official texts under the Central legislation in various languages except Hindi as provided under the Schedule VIII of the Constitution of India. But, these provisions cannot be presented before the judiciary and there is an essential need for the authoritative texts to be made available in multiple languages except Hindi as denoted under Schedule VIII of the Indian Constitution. The Authoritative Texts (Central Laws) Act, 1973 was enacted to accomplish these objectives and fill the vacuum in the translation of the enactments. After the enactment, the provisions of the Act can be brought forward before the judiciary. This will also enable the people to understand the law in the State Official languages.

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The present Act provides provision for the official texts of Central enactments in some languages. Accordingly, translation of the legislation in State official languages apart from Hindi as denoted under the Schedule VIII of the Indian Constitution which is publicized as per the authority entrusted to the President of any Central enactment or ordinance issued by the President or rules, directions, orders etc declared in compliance with the Constitution or other enactments issued by the Parliament shall be considered as authoritative or the official texts translated in the required language.

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Moreover, the Central Government is empowered under the Act to formulate rules for the effective implementation of the provisions of the enactment. The Act states that the rules framed by the Central Government is required to lay before the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha the rules created by the Central Government. This shall be done by the Central Government when the Houses are in session. It shall be for a term of thirty days that is constituted in a single session or in more than one following sessions and if prior to the expiration of the session directly subsequent to the session or the consecutive session as mentioned above. Consensus shall be reached by Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha with respect to the alterations in the rule or concur that such rule shall not be framed. Then the rules shall be implemented after giving effect to the alterations or will not be implemented. Nevertheless, the alteration or invalidation of the rule so framed shall not affect the validity of any action performed beforehand as per that rule. Therefore, the translation of the enactments formulated by the Central Government was given legal back-up by enacting the Authoritative Texts (Central Laws) Act, 1973. Moreover, the present enactment was amended by Authorized Translations (Central Laws) Amendment Act, 1988.