The Supreme Court on Friday said that it has allowed the appointment of an interpreter to translate through sign language for hearing-impaired lawyers.
Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said he wanted to have a sign-language interpreter for the Constitution bench hearings.
A sign-language interpreter was seen interpreting the proceedings of the top court to hearing-impaired lawyer Sarah Sunny in a virtual window.
“We have an interpreter today for Sarah. In fact, we are thinking that for the constitution bench hearings, we will have an interpreter so everyone can follow”, said the CJI at the outset of the court’s proceedings.
“This is truly historic and momentous. It shows the diversity in true sense in this court,” senior advocate Menaka Guruswamy, who was present in the court, told CJI.
After the matter in which Sarah was appearing was over, CJI told her, “Sarah, I hope this was intelligible to you and you were able to understand what was going on in the court.”
Her interpreter said, “Yes sir, she says it was very helpful.”
As Sarah’s counsel Sanchita Ain expressed gratitude to the CJI for arranging the interpreter, CJI replied, “It is our elementary duty to have a more diverse environment.”
CJI Chandrachud then told her, “But Sarah, now you must start arguing your own matters.”
On September 22, a bench headed by the CJI heard Sarah through sign-language interpreter Saurav Roy Chowdhury in a case related to the rights of persons with disabilities (PwD).
Sarah had earlier filed an application before the Supreme Court Registry requesting a court-appointed Indian Sign Language (ISL) interpreter to assist her.