The Delhi Police have opposed a PIL in the high court that sought to replace “archaic and difficult” Urdu and Persian words with Hindi and English phrases in FIRs and daily documentation, saying the words have come to be “widely understood even by a layman in Delhi”.
“The words used are neither archaic nor difficult but on the other hand replacement of these words in ‘Hindi’ as suggested in the petition would create a lot of difficulties, both for litigants and lawyers,” a police affidavit said. “Hindi substitute to these Urdu words, which are presently being used by the police, are much more difficult to understand for an average person.”
The PIL said Delhi Police are taught 132 Urdu words at the training academy, of which words like musna (carbon copy), zaabta (rule/law) and moharrir (records incharge) are perplexing to most people. Other words include insdaad jarayam (prevention of crime), majroob (injured), imroz (today), inkashaf (disclosure), musammi (Mr/Ms), mustaba (suspect) and adam pata (untraceable).
The affidavit was filed in response to a public interest litigation by advocate Amit Sahni who contended that the use of “archaic and difficult Persian and Urdu words” in day-to-day police work, such as registration of FIRs and recording of witness statements, confuses people and should be replaced with Hindi or English.
“It is not only cumbersome for Delhi Police officers... but also for accused/counsel and even judicial officers...,” the PIL said.
The police, however, said: “No difficulty has ever been experienced by anybody including lawyers in understanding the words and phrases being used by the police... Working of police is going on very smoothly with the present words and phrases.”
“Dropping these commonly-used words may be against the idols of inclusiveness and national integration,” it added.