A Delhi Court has allowed the plea of an accused charged under the Delhi Police Act to record the evidence in the Hindi language.

The Court while dealing with a Criminal Revision Petition filed by the revisionist/ accused has held that the Courts are duty-bound to record the evidence or any other proceedings in Hindi if a request has been made regarding the same.

Principal District and Sessions Judge, Dharmesh Sharma held –

"In view of the categorical position of law vide Section 272 Cr.PC read with Delhi High Court Rules, the Courts are duty bound to record the evidence or any other proceedings in Hindi, whenever a request is made in this regard."

Advocate Manish Jain appeared for the revisionist/accused.

Additional Public Prosecutor Ravinder Khandelwal appeared for the respondent/ State.

The criminal revision petition was filed by the accused under Section 397 of Cr.PC against the order passed by the Metropolitan Magistrate that declined the application requesting recording of evidence in the Hindi language.

The revisionist along with other co-accused were facing trial for committing offences under Section 92/97 of the Delhi Police Act. The notice of accusation under Section 251 Cr.PC was given to the revisionist and other co-accused persons on March 19th, 2016 and during the course of long trial, four witnesses were examined. On May 30th, 2022, an application was moved by the revisionist requesting that questions asked during the cross-examination of the witnesses be in Hindi and answers to the same shall also be written in Hindi.

Metropolitan Magistrate declined the application holding that "due to logistical shortcomings, the application cannot be allowed and the accused have been offered assistance by the undersigned for translation of the questions and for noting their answers in a manner as stated by them and without losing any meaning in translation."

The Court in this context observed –

"It is not understandable as to what logistical problem the Ld. MM is speaking about. The statement of the witnesses can be recorded on the computer desktop, which has Hindi Font by the Stenographer, and if the Court Stenographer is not proficient in typing in Hindi, a requisition for a Hindi Typist can be made. In case, a Hindi Typist is not available, the Ld. MM either herself/himself or through court staff shall get the statement of the witness recorded in Hindi."

The Court, therefore, set aside the order passed by Metropolitan Magistrate and directed to record the testimony of the witnesses in the Hindi language.

Cause Title – Gulshan Kumar v. State

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