From: The Times of India
Use of Urdu In FIRs Baffles Courts, commoners
Sukhbir Siwach & Hina Rohatki, TNN | Feb 5, 2012, 05.13PM IST
CHANDIGARH: Sounds like a line from a ghazal? It's something more prosaic-these lines are a part of an FIR at a police station in Panchkula district. It means: At this time, the police station's daily diary register number 2 records that the complainant was present at the police post, got his complaint registered, the details of which are as under..."
A heavy spattering of Urdu and Persian, remnant of the days of pre-Independence undivided Punjab, in FIRs and daily diary reports (DDRs) by the Haryana Police have left not only the common man but also judges baffled as they scurry to decipher the text.
The practice continues despite policemen being told way back in 2005 by the then DGP to use Hindi while writing FIRs, reports of cases, investigation and research reports on disputes. Even judges in various Haryana districts have time and again asked the police to use simple Hindi. Munshis, who pen reports in police stations, have not changed their ways over the years and sources say, even the young ones who join learn from their seniors and continue the practice.
"Over the years, policemen simply follow set precedents as they do not wish to make an effort at simplifying things. The words are picked up from earlier FIRs and they become a part of a munshi's vocabulary," said professor of linguistics at Panjan University, Mohammad Khalid.
Even judges have problems deciphering the meaning. During a judgment on November 21 last year, additional sessions judge, Bhiwani, M M Dhonchak had directed the superintendent of police, to ensure that the practice of using Urdu words should be abandoned and instead Hindi or English should be used.
"The reply to the bail application (of the case) contains several words of Urdu and other languages with which this court is not conversant and it was with great difficulty that this court could apprehend the contents ... time and again this court has expressed its displeasure over this irresponsible attitude of the police," the judge had said.
"Police have been writing words even without knowing their meaning. Even lawyers lawyers failed to understand what they meant during questioning in courts," then DGP had said in his communication in 2005.
The present Haryana DGP R S Dalal, however, feels use of such words can continue. "Many such words have become part of our daily conversation. Largely, open-minded people of the state welcome all languages and cultures," Dalal told TOI.
"We should not be too rigid on the use of pure Hindi in place of Urdu, which has become a part of common vocabulary in many cases. However, the language should not be overtly technical. Most policed stations now provide FIRs in computerised formats and in Hindi. This has been appreciated by many courts," said Haryana home secretary, Samir Mathur.
Aala-e-katal: Murder weapon
Hasab jabta: As per law
(With inputs from Ajay Sura, Bhaskar Mukherjee and Pradeep Rai )