Special court rejects plea of accused for police reports in Tamil

If the court directs NIA to furnish the translated copies, the agency would have to do translation work instead of investigation, the court added. 
Image used for representational purpose only.
Image used for representational purpose only.

BENGALURU:  The Special Court for NIA cases rejected the application filed by two accused persons from Tamil Nadu, seeking directions to furnish copies of the police report and its enclosures in the Tamil language, on the open threat issued to judges of the Karnataka High Court. The judges, including the Chief Justice, were part of the bench which delivered the verdict on the hijab ban in classrooms.    

“This court is not duty-bound to supply the translated copies...In view of the decision of the High Court of Madras, the accused can go for a translation of the documents at their own cost, for a better understanding of the trial,” said Judge Gangadhara CM, rejecting the application filed by R Rahamathullah and Jamala Mohammad S, under Section 207 CrPC.  

The special court said that not furnishing translated copies to the accused in their mother tongue is not denial of a fair trial, which is guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. 

The court also said that the mother tongue of the accused persons is different, as they are from another part of the country. They don’t know how to read and write Kannada or English. The NIA chargesheet in English is voluminous, ranging from 1,000 pages to 20,000 pages.

If the court directs NIA to furnish the translated copies, the agency would have to do translation work instead of investigation, the court added. Vidhana Soudha police registered a case against the accused, and the court took cognisance of offences punishable under provisions of the IPC and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, in April 2023. After the hijab verdict, at an open public meeting, the accused had addressed the HC Chief Justice in the singular, the verdict in a vulgar language and had given open threats of murder.

The accused had contended that if copies of the documents are not given in Tamil, they will not be in a position to put up a proper defence, and be deprive of their life and personal liberty. Karnataka Bar Association advocates are refusing to appear on their behalf, fearing criticism, the accused claimed. 
 

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