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Challenges Of Urdu Court Record

Language is the road map of a culture. It tells us where its people came from and where they are going. Language has its own forms and varies from place to place. Sanskrit is one of the ancient language that loses its prominence. It was said to be the mother tongue of all languages. During the Mughal period, i.e., between 16th and 19th century, Persian was the language of Mughal courts.

The main reason behind the change in language was to maintain their dignity, pride and self-respect. Urdu became the court language in South India and Gujrat during Mughal period but could never displace in the north .The Mughals lost their empire to the British, Marathas and their governors who had become independent rulers then in their reign, the court language became Urdu.

The courts system set up by Warren Hastings in 1772 was a mixture of British and Mughal courts. Thus begins the journey of Urdu and English in our legal system. This research paper aims in objectifying the issues related to adoption of Urdu language in this modern times where such languages used on day to day basis but had lost his essence entirely especially in the judicial system.

This research paper is a collection of judgments and data retrieved from various hand books regarding the challenges faced in cases proceeded way back in 1960s {post-independence} when the court proceedings suddenly changes from Urdu to English with the issues related to translation of records to Urdu during the period of Mughals.

Background
Urdu developed in the 12th century. Urdu is closely related to Hindi, a language that originated and developed in the Indian subcontinent. Urdu language is a combination of Hindustani and Persian language. Urdu language was mainly known in the Mughal period as one of the major poet named Amir Khosrow who composed has, folk songs, and riddles started composing in Urdu. Before independence, the court records their judgment in Urdu language and half of the records was related to land revenue.

The Urdu language uses the Arabic script with extensions. The extensions are based on Persian words. As the other languages like Hindi, English generally wrote from left to right but the Urdu language wrote from right to left. With the advent of British, Persian was replaced by Hindustani, which is a mixture of Hindi and Urdu language used to communicate with common man.

Its literary conventions and specialized vocabulary were borrowed from Persian, Turkic and Arabic; and with time the dialect was given its own name- Urdu, used by both Hindus and Muslims of the era. This lead to introduction of Urdu as an official language in court of law. This practice became so prevalent that Urdu remained a part of our legal system even after the end of Mughal era. It took significant efforts for Britishers to take down and develop a legal system with English as the main language.

But such procedure was only established in some part of the country. In modern time, English has become essential part of our lives as well as our legal system and it is thus essential for our legal system to not only practice in English but also translate and govern our pending matters for decades to be administered and judged in English.

Introduction
A court of record is a trial court or appellate court in which the proceedings are preserved. It is a written and detailed record of all the cases of District Court and High Court of India preserved over a long period of time. These records are used with high authority and their truth canít be questioned. Supreme Court maintains all the record under Article 129 of the Constitution of India.[1]

Article 129 states that the Supreme Court shall be the court of record and have the power to punish for its contempt. After settling in India, the Mughals interacted with the socio-political nobles and came in touch with Sanskrit scholars with the interactions. As the two groups did not understand each otherís language, their common language became Hindi, which also included Persian and Sanskrit words.

Persian remained as a court language and replaced by Urdu in 1839. Before independence, the court records their judgment in Urdu language and their records was related to land revenue, Testamentary matter, Title records. Persian was the court language for several centuries. Under later Mughal period, Urdu has been given every possible encouragement. The translated versions was completed in 16th century. The total collection of 1, 37,000[2] {approx.} is the official Mughal documents.

It consists of reports, day to day accounts and revenue figures which were sent regularly to the Diwan of the Deccan by the individual Diwans of the six provinces of the Deccan. A collection of about 1060[3] documents are in Persian and Urdu language. These documents throw light on the political role of the Haldia family in Rajasthan. There are approximately 14,000[4] other documents in different oriental languages especially in Persian and Urdu.

Most of the judgments were written in Urdu and to preserve its old judgments, the Punjab and Haryana High court is looking for people who can translate the judgments from Urdu to English. The court is unable to process such cases of 1960s due to lack of certified translations of court proceedings thereby delaying justice. After translating the judgments, the authorities of the High court aims to maintain a digital record. The main problem faced by High court is that there are not much people who can do translation work.

Even if the courts find the translators they are not authentic and such translation could not be certified. The courts have decided to computerize the entire record, they need translators who can translate the judgments written in Urdu language but there are very few people who are qualified.

Objectives
  • To distinguish between multiple meanings of one word in English and Urdu languages. So as to determine the right meaning of the English word with multiple meanings into Urdu.
  • To classify the Laws given in English and to interpret the laws into Urdu so as to translate the judgments given in Urdu to English for the better applicability of laws in the present scenario.
  • To know about the persons who are well versed in Urdu and the translation.
  • To comprehend the language of judicial system and why Urdu has become a barriers of communication.
  • To know the applicability of Urdu language internationally.
  • To know the reason behind pendency of cases.
  • To classify the authenticity of certified translations.
  • There is govt. agencies who translates the records from Hindi to English, but no provision for Urdu, to clarify this reason.
  • The translators are to translate exactly what it is said, without commenting on it.
  • Maintaining the originality.
  • An interpreter shall take an oath that he or she will make a true interpretation to the witness in a language, certified to be a true translation by the translator appointed or approved by the Court, may be accepted.
  • A committee should be formed to maintain the court records.
  • To understand the usage of transcription that are not entirely illegitimate in the context of linguistic discussions as it is controversial and can also be misinterpret.
  • To understand this cumbersome process delayed the dispensation of justice and made it costlier.

Conclusion And Recommendations
A committee should be formed to maintain the court records. The committee will be open, responsive and accountable, acting at all times with translation work, and its beneficiaries.
  • The registrar has the head, including the elected member of the committee and the translator.
  • Where a document is found to be defective, the said document shall, be again retuned to translator by the Registrar or the committee at any stage of time needed.

Legal Committee
The Legal Committee is empowered to deal with any legal records including any document, manuscript and file; any microfilm, microfiche and facsimile copy of a document; any reproduction of image or images embodied in such microfilm (whether enlarged or not); and any other material produced by a computer or any other device; within the scope of the Translation of court record. The Committee consists of Translator, 3 Member and Register. The Legal Committee is also empowered to perform any duties within its scope which may be assigned; inspection of work, documents, records; extracts or certified copies of documents or records; taking certified samples of material; where such information is stored in a computer or in any other device; and etc. .

Responsibilities and liability:
The members of the board are equally responsible in law for committee actions and decisions. They are collectively responsible and accountable for ensuring that the translation is performing well, is solvent and complies with all its obligations.
  1. Appointment:
    • Translator:
      The translator shall be appointed by the High court of the state. Every High court must have at least one translator. Translator must be appointed by written test of more than 5 Indian languages apart from HINDI, ENGLISH, URDU, SANSKIRIT; the speedy of translation include manual and computer. Translator must be able to read, write and speak more than 5 India languages. Age min 18 year to max 35 year.
       
    • Commissioner:
      The register with the recruitment panel of the every High court shall appoint a person who is qualified to be appointed a commissioner to the translation committee. He must know 5 Indian languages apart from HINDI, ENGLISH, URDU, SANSKIRIT; the speedy of translation include manual and computer. Translator must be able to read, write and speak more than 5 India languages. Age min 40 year to max 45 year.
       
    • Chief Commissioner:
      The register with the recruitment panel of the every High court shall appoint a person who is qualified to be appointed a Chief commissioner to the translation committee. He must know 5 Indian languages apart from HINDI, ENGLISH, URDU, SANSKIRIT; the speedy of translation include manual and computer. Translator must be able to read, write and speak more than 5 India languages. Age min 30 year to max 45 year.
       
    • Officer:
      The register with the recruitment panel of the every High court shall appoint a person who is qualified to be appointed an officer to the translation committee. He must know 5 Indian languages apart from HINDI, ENGLISH, URDU, SANSKIRIT; the speedy of translation include manual and computer. Translator must be able to read, write and speak more than 5 India languages. Age min 25 year to max 45 year.
       
  2. Removal:
    • The Commissioner ,Chief Commissioner and the officer shall be removed from his office only by order of the Register and by the panel of High court recruitment board on the ground of proved misbehavior or incapacity has, on inquiry, reported The Commissioner ,Chief Commissioner and the officer, as the case may be, ought on such ground be removed.
       
    • The Register with the panel of High court recruitment may suspend from office, and if deem necessary prohibit also from attending the office during inquiry.
       
    • The Commissioner ,Chief Commissioner and the officer in any way, concerned or interested in any contract or agreement made by or on behalf of the Government of India or participates in any way in the profit thereof or in any benefit or emolument arising therefrom otherwise than as a member.
       
  3. Language and usage of legal words, its interpretation,:
    • The Commissioner, Chief Commissioner and the officer must be able to read, write and speak more than 5 Indian languages including Hindi, Urdu, Sanskriti, English And The State language.

      Governing Documents:
      • Any record includes: any document, manuscript and file; any microfilm, microfiche and facsimile copy of a document; any reproduction of image or images embodied in such microfilm (whether enlarged or not); and any other material produced by a computer or any other device; should , maintain all its records duly catalogued and indexed in a manner and the form which facilitates the right to information under this Act and ensure that all records that are appropriate to be computerized are, within a reasonable time.
         
      • Confidentiality should be maintained
         
  4. Legal Duties:
    • The Translation of court records procedure followed in the decision making process, including channels of supervision and accountability;
    • the norms set by Translation of court records for the discharge of its functions;
    • the rules, regulations, instructions, manuals and records, held by it or under its control
    • a statement of the categories of documents that are held by it or under its control;
    • Translation of court records must be certified by the Translator then by committee member and finally its authentication must be done Register
    • a statement of the committees for the purpose of its advice, and as to whether Translation of court records meets are true, correctly translated, accessible details in respect of the information, available to or held by Translation of court records, reduced in an electronic formsuch other information as may be prescribed; and thereafter update these publications
    • publish all relevant facts while formulating Translation of court records important policies or announcing the decisions which affect public;
    • The Translation of court records widely and in such form and manner which is easily accessible to the public.
       
End-Notes:
  1. https://indiankanoon.org/doc/927019/
  2. National Archives of India {http://nationalarchives.nic.in/content/oriental-records-0
  3. National Archives of India { http://nationalarchives.nic.in/content/oriental-records-0
  4. National Archives of India { http://nationalarchives.nic.in/content/oriental-records-0
Written By: Shamir Mehra

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