New Delhi: In an unusual order, a Delhi court on Wednesday said the statement of witnesses in a case of alleged rape of a woman in Unnao in 2017 be recorded in Hindi using English alphabet so that it could be understood properly.
District Judge Dharmesh Sharma gave the directions while hearing a plea filed by one of the accused in the case, Shashi Singh, who allegedly lured the woman, a minor then, to a legislator’s residence on the pretext of giving her a job and was allegedly raped by the now-expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar.
The court also requested the District and Sessions Judge of the Dwarka district court to post a junior assistant from the Hindi section there to record the statement of the witnesses so as to take the exact words uttered by them on crucial aspects of the case.
“The court has taken care to write certain crucial part of the depositions of the witnesses in Hindi as well albeit using English alphabet so that the words can be properly translated and be understood at the later stage of the case.”
“At the same time, on request to the District and Sessions Judge Shailja Malhotra, the junior assistant from the Hindi section, south-west district, Dwarka has been posted to this court and henceforth the statement of the witnesses shall be recorded in English as well as Hindi in the same vein so as to dictate the exact words uttered by the witnesses on crucial aspects of the case,” it said.
The plea had said that though the charges which have been put to Singh for arraigning her for the trial were being explained to her in Hindi but were recorded in English.
The plea also noted that she hailed from Unnao, the Hindi belt of Uttar Pradesh and had sought that the statement of the witnesses which was being recorded in English on dictation by the court be either translated in Hindi or the entire evidence of the witnesses be also recorded in Hindi so that the accused can understand the nature of the proceedings.
The counsel for Singh also submitted that recording of evidence in Hindi would facilitate the examination/recording of the statement of the accused as well.
Six witnesses have been examined in the Unnao rape case during in-camera proceedings in the vulnerable witness room.