State laws ‘give a damn’ to official language
Only 20 Legislations Out Of 300 Available In Urdu
Srinagar, May 11: In a glaring instance of the Jammu and Kashmir government’s shoddy and apathetic attitude towards the state’s official language, it is yet to translate the state laws in Urdu.
Informed sources told Greater Kashmir that only a handful of laws made by the state legislature are available in Urdu, despite the government having a full-fledged directorate - Urdu Coordination Cell - for translation of central and state laws in the state’s official language. Directorate of Urdu Coordination Cell (UCC) falls under the administrative control of the Law Department.
“While more than 550 central legislations have been translated by UCC, ironically, on the other hand only 17-18 state laws including Right to Information Act- 2009, Jammu and Kashmir Protection of Human Rights Act- 1997 and State Commission for Women Act - 1999 are available into Urdu,” sources said.
While Article 145 of JK constitution declares Urdu as the state’s official language, the State Constitution was translated into Urdu only in 2002 by UCC, sources said
“Curiously, while the Central Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC) were translated into Urdu long back, the state’s own CrPC and Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) is yet to be translated,” they added. The Directorate of UCC was created in 1971 by the state’s Law Department for translating laws and legal documents of the Centre and State into Urdu.
According to the officials of the Urdu Cell, since its creation JK government was sitting over translating state laws and no efforts were made in this direction by the successive regimes.
“The work of translating the state laws was undertaken in 2006 and presently the assignment is going at very slow pace due to workload from Union Law Ministry,” they said adding that the state’s Urdu Coordination cell is over-burdened with the work assigned to it by the Union Law Ministry.
Legal experts told Greater Kashmir that the absence of state laws in Urdu language clearly depicts step-motherly attitude with the state’s official language. “It would have been better if the laws made by state legislature were translated in Urdu language and as even today this language is being used in police stations and Tehsil offices for official documentation,” advocate Syed Riyaz Khawar said.
“It is mandatory for the state to translate all the state laws into Urdu language so that in addition to legal institutions, the general public also know their duties and rights as the citizens of free democracy,” he added.
The officials of Law Department told Greater Kashmir that UCC has been a victim of official apathy and is facing staff as well as accommodation shortage. “The translation work has been severely hampered due to paucity of staff and presently only 23 posts are in position out of 43,” they said, adding that there are vacancies of Deputy Draftsman, Assistant Draftsman, Editor, Sub Editors, Head Assistants, Urdu Typists, Katibs, Junior Assistants and Copyists.
“Either the posts are vacant or the persons holding these charges have been transferred to State Human Rights Commission or Directorate of Litigation,” they said.
“We have requested Jammu and Kashmir Government from time to time to provide us proper accommodation, bur our repeated pleas have fallen on deaf ears. The department is functioning in six rooms with poor furnishing and furniture,” they added.
When contacted, State Law Secretary, Ghulam Hassan Tantray admitted that only 20 laws have been translated into Urdu till now. Pertinently, the state has around 300 laws of its own.
“Right now we are translating only important state laws the rest will be taken care of in due course of time,” he said.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 11 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 11 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 12 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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