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Babri Masjid land dispute case: 8 translators to take 120 days to translate nearly 11,500 pages in English, SC told


New Delhi: Nearly 11,500 documents in Babri Masjid land dispute matter need to be translated in English from 16 languages for the case to be ready for hearing -- a task that would take around 120 days and involve eight official translators, the Supreme Court was informed Tuesday.

The 16 different languages from which the documents are to be translated include Hindi, Punjabi (Gurumukhi), Urdu, Persian and Arabic.

The top court's Secretary General said in the eight-page report that the record consists of 38,147 pages out of which 12,814 are in Hindi, 18,607 in English, 501 in Urdu, 97 in Gurumukhi, 21 in Sanskrit, 86 in other language scripts, 14 images, 1,729 are combination of more than one script and 4,278 blank pages.

The report was submitted in pursuance to the apex court's earlier direction after which the Secretary General had constituted two committees for visiting the room where the records were kept.

The court had earlier directed the registry to physically inspect the records which are lying under lock and key and make an assessment of the time that will be taken to make the cases ready for hearing by engaging, if required, official translators of the requisite number and give a report thereof to the court.

It said there were 15 locked trunks in which the records, including that of the Allahabad High Court, were kept.

The report stated that the high court judgement ran into 8,170 pages and the deposition, 14,385 pages.

Regarding the time to be taken for translating 11,479 pages in English from different languages, it said as per the prescribed standard, a senior and a junior translator is required to translate 1,600 and 1,300 words per day respectively, which comes out to be 6-7 pages per day approx.

However, in view of the importance of the matter, if the translators are asked to put in more working hours every day, each translator may translate about 12 pages per day.

"In the circumstances, if entire strength of eight official translators (of the Supreme Court) is utilised to translate 11,479 (10,907 + 572) pages, it is likely to take about 120 working days to make the case ready for hearing," the report said.

It said, the time may be reduced if the Supreme Court permits the registry to engage services of translators from various high courts and government departments.

It said it 16 translators (eight official translators of apex court and eight engaged from other sources) are deputed, the translation will be completed in about 60 working days and it may be reduced by engaging more translators.

A 5-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi was hearing the politically sensitive Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid land case in Ayodhya on Tuesday.

It asked the contending parties to explore the possibility of amicably settling the decades old dispute through mediation, saying it may help in "healing relations".

The bench, which posted the main matter for hearing after eight weeks and directed its registry to provide translated copies of documents to the parties within six weeks to check their veracity, said it wanted to explore the possibility of mediation to utilise the time till the next date of hearing.

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News Summary - Babri Masjid land dispute case: 8 translators to take 120 days to translate nearly 11,500 pages in English, SC told
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