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Updated: February 17, 2013 03:04 IST

Two magistrates deliver verdict in Telugu

Staff Reporter
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A recent judgment copy that is in Telugu language. Photo: Basheer
A recent judgment copy that is in Telugu language. Photo: Basheer

Their aim is to help litigant public understand the judgments

In a laudable initiative that would benefit the litigant public, two magistrates in Srikakulam, both husband and wife, recently pronounced judgments in Telugu.

Judicial First Class Magistrate A. Padma pronounced four judgments and Magistrate of Mobile Court S. Chinababu one in Telugu. It was a Herculean task for them as there are no stenographers and typists who can do their job in Telugu. At their request, stenographer A. Veerraju leant Telugu typewriting and prepared the documents in the vernacular language. Their task turned out to be all the more difficult as there were only a few books in Telugu that covered legal terminology. According to sources, drafting work in all courts in Tamil Nadu is in Tamil only. But Telugu is not used in Andhra Pradesh though the State government had issued orders to this effect in 1984. However, both the State government and High Court recently decided to encourage advocates and judges to use Telugu .

“As English is widely used, litigants have become mute spectators in courts as they do not understand the arguments and judgment copies. Advocates concerned have to explain them again, ” says Jallu Tirupati Rao, a senior advocate.

Many lawyers have welcomed the move and assured that they would file petitions in Telugu once legal terminology is translated from English.

I do understand that the language is a barrier for the uneducated people. However one cannot use a regional language for litigation for several practical reasons. The colloquial Telugu language is not sophisticated enough to present legal matters. If the current Telugu cinema is any indication the language has deteriorated badly, instead of improving. Then the chaste Telugu could be as difficult for these uneducated as English. First of all even in AP not all disputes involve Telugu speaking people, and there are courts of different levels. That is jurists of one state are transferred to other state. It will be chaos if different parties start speaking different tongues. English has evolved over centuries, has developed terminology for technical and legal matters. Another issue is, if the case is not settled at the state level then it has to move to the upper level courts out side the state.

from:  Jayaram
Posted on: Feb 19, 2013 at 20:47 IST
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