TINSUKIA, April 29 - For the sake of delivery of justice, the lower courts of judiciary should use Assamese instead of English as the court language in Brahmaputra valley. This was demanded by the All Assam Lawyers� Association (AALA).
The AALA has alleged that the practices of recording the depositions of both the petitioners � plaintiff or complainant as well as of defendants or opposite parties or witnesses of criminal cases etc., in English was depriving the illiterate or semi-literate litigants from getting the true picture of their respective cases. Litigants had to put their thumb impressions or signatures on their own recorded depositions which had been written in English during the trial or court proceedings without knowing the contents of the deposition records. Speaking on this type of irregularity that was going on in the lower judicial courts of the Brahmaputra valley, AALA vice president, Ashok Kumar Karmakar in a recent press meet at the Press Club here stated that witnesses had been asked to put their thumb impressions or signatures on the recorded sheets without elaborating as to what had been recorded, but the courts put their regular symbolic signs ROAC (read over and corrected) on it. He further added that depositions in the courts should be in that language which was used by the depositors and that was the practice during British rule.
Furthermore, translations of depositions to any other language were illegal if it had been given in the court language, the AALA vice president added. The practice of translations into English language was violating the very provision of Section 277 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in which it was clearly mentioned that (a) if the witness gives evidence in the language of the Court, it shall be taken down in that language; (b) if he gives evidence in any other language, it may, if practicable, be taken down in that language, and it is not practicable to do so, true translation of the evidence in the language of the Court shall be prepared as the examination of the witness proceeds, signed by the Magistrate or presiding Judge, and shall form part of the record; (c) where under clause (b) evidence is taken down in a language of the Court, a true translation thereof in the language of the Court shall be prepared as soon as practicable, signed by the Magistrate or presiding Judge, and shall form part of the record: provided that when under clause (b) evidence is taken down in English and translation thereof in the language of the Court is not required by any of the parties, the Court may dispense with such translation.
Karmakar clarified that Assamese language was one of the Official Languages of India and it was the Court language alongwith English in the Brahmaputra valley of Assam and therefore depositions given in Assamese language in the Courts of Brahmaputra valley were legal and it needs no translations to English or to any other language. He urged that depositions given in Assamese should be recorded in Assamese in the Courts of the Brahmaputra valley of Assam for delivery of proper justice to the litigant people and informed that AALA had submitted a memorandum in this regards to Justice Ranjan Gogoi of the Supreme Court.