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Court Cuts: SC slaps litigant with Rs 25k costs for awful grammar & syntax translation of Hindi order

The Supreme Court on Friday imposed a cost of Rs 25,000 on a petitioner in a criminal case for filing an erroneous English translation of a judicial order in Hindi which was wrong on grammar, construction of sentences, usage of words and punctuation.

Asking the petitioner to deposit the cost within 24 hours with the legal service authority, the vacation bench of Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Ashok Bhushan said that the cost would continue to increase in the event of failure to deposit the amount within the stipulated time.

The displeased judges said that they had to struggle for one hour to figure out the sense of the order, and that they have never come across an order blended with such grammatical and other mistakes.

The court imposed the cost after lawyer Aishwarya Bhati, appearing for petitioner Vardha Ram, told the bench that the grammatical errors that the court was finding in the high court's order were in fact on account of a faulty translation from the original order in Hindi.

Initially, the apex court bench had objected to the lower court judge passing an order in English with so many errors, including in grammar, syntax, word usage and punctuation, and sent the order back to the subordinate court to pass a fresh order.

However, after Bhati admitted to a mistake by the "official translator" of the court, the vacation bench has now instead imposed costs on the petitioner.

"You should have seen it (translation) yourself," the court told the lawyer.

"You should be sorry," the bench said.

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