Observing that the usage of common Urdu words such as kitaab, ilzaam and hawaalat may be permissible, but “obscure and archaic expressions can find no place in an FIR”, the Delhi High Court Thursday directed Delhi Police to upload on its website the list of archaic Urdu and Persian words which are used in registering FIRs.
The High Court in a previous order had clarified that Urdu and Persian words of general use can still be used by police while registering complaints.
A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar said: “…we deem it appropriate to clarify that we have not opined against the use of Urdu words per se. Every language is entitled to command its own respect, and we are conscious of the richness of Urdu as a language.”
The HC also directed the Delhi Police Commissioner that its order and circular “be circulated to police officers concerned, so as to percolate the same in the hierarchy and also to the teaching/educational institutes meant for training of police personnel”
Clarifying the nature of common Urdu words which can be used in complaints, the bench said: “We only seek to emphasise that an FIR…has to be worded in a manner…comprehensible to the common man.”
The High Court’s observation came on a PIL, which had challenged the Delhi Police’s November 20 circular to its stations to stop the use of 383 Urdu or Persian words while registering FIRs. The circular contains their meaning in Hindi and English. For example, Adam shanakht translates to unidentified; Arsaal to submitted; Istighasa to complaint; and Qalam Band to writing statement, among other words.
Delhi Police had issued the circular after the HC in August observed that FIRs should be in words of the complainant and flowery language should not to be used.
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