Mukadma, tafteesh, khaangi, mujhrim no more, the Delhi High Court has instructed the Delhi Police to stop flaunting their knowledge of Urdu and Persian, and start recording FIRs in simple and plain language for everyone to understand. It held that police officers are working for the common public at large and not always for those who are Doctorate holders in Urdu, Hindi or Persian languages.
A bench headed by Chief Justice DN Patel has taken it upon itself to ensure that the Delhi Police do away with usage of these words “mechanically” without knowing the exact meanings themselves and requiring everyone to consult dictionaries.
“There is no need for the police to show their knowledge of Urdu and Persian words, and use them mechanically without even knowing the exact meanings. Moreover, public at large may not be able to understand all these Urdu and Persian words,” said the High Court in its order.
Notably there are as many as 400 incomprehensible Urdu and Persian words which the police uses while making the FIRs. The use of Persian and Urdu words are frequent since the time of British Rule as the Indian Penal Code and the police act contain a lot of words in Persian and Urdu languages. However it could very soon become a thing of the past in Delhi as the court has taken cognisance of the issue.
Interestingly, as the high court bench sought an explanation from the Commissioner, a circular has been issued by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Legal Cell, asking all police officials in Delhi to use simple and comprehensible words while registering FIRs instead of Urdu and Persian ones. A list of 383 Urdu and Persian words has also been along with their translations in Hindi and English was also submitted before the High Court.
The HC bench added that henceforth, the police must also give to all complainants and informants the list of 383 words with their translations in Hindi and English so that they could know what has been finally recorded in the FIRs and is the correct version of the incident.
The court order has come on a petition moved by one Vishalakshi Goel, who had pointed out how the Delhi Police was using Urdu and Persian words routinely without knowing the exact meanings and making it extremely difficult for the complainant to understand it.
The court also directed the police to submit “at least 10 FIR copies registered with 10 different police stations so that we can verify whether the circular issued by DCP is being followed by subordinate police officers/officials in letter and spirit. Thus, minimum 100 copies of FIRs should be presented before the court on the next date of hearing
Previously too, a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar had observed that “too much flowery language is not needed… the FIR is for the public at large. It should not be something for which one has to do a doctorate in Sanskrit, Urdu or Persian.”