Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High Court has again asked government to ensure that there is no delay in the trial of undertrials and detainees due to their non-production before courts.
The direction was passed by a division bench of Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar while hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by Kashmir High Court Bar Association for ensuring availability of all facilities as provided under rules to undertrials and detainees in various jails in J&K and outside.
“Last time we had directed that there cannot be a repeated breach in taking the undertrial to the court,” the bench said after KHCBA president and prominent lawyer advocate Mian Abdul Qayoom referred to detainee who has been taken to court on eight times.
“Division Bench of this court in 2010 has passed detailed orders and not taking the detainees to courts would be the violation of the judgment,” the bench said, adding, “You have to ensure that there is no delay in trial on account of this reason.”
A number of other issues facing the undertrials and detainees also came up before the bench during the course of the hearing which spanned for nearly two hours.
One such issue was regarding government order of 1968 with regard to supplies of diet and toiletries to the jail inmates.
“In the last order we had desired that (government) should have comparison about what is happening in other states like Punjab, Mumbai etc. We are not saying that you should follow Delhi, Kolkata or other practice, you may adopt a reasonable pattern which suits the requirements of this state,” the bench said.
Regarding the directions issued in March this year about filing up of 31 vacancies including 10 Assistant Surgeons, a Dental Surgeon, three B-Grade Specialists besides X-ray and dental technicians, the court observed that no effort has been made by the authorities.
“From March, we are in June. More than two months have gone by. What is the status?” the bench asked Additional Advocate General R A Khan who replied that It would be done in “near future.”
“What do you mean by near future? One, two three or more months?” the court asked.
In the middle of this, Khan requested for two weeks time for filing a comprehensive reply to comply with the directions passed in various orders by the court.
“Let the compliance report be filed with a copy to counsel opposite,” the bench said while allowing the request by Khan.
In contempt petition about frisking of woman visitors, court said, “we have perused statement of facts filed by Superintendent of Central Jail Srinagar. However with regard to frisking of woman, some doubt has been created after reading para 5 of the statement of facts. Mr Khan states that a supplementary affidavit for removing the doubts will be filed within two weeks.”
In para 5 of the state of facts, the Superintendent said that as the outer security of the jail is manned by the CRPF for a quite long time, the practice of searches by female CRPF personnel is also in vogue for quite a long time.
“It would not appropriate to allot the frisking job to a particular agency,” Khan said.
However, Mian Qayoom objected to it, saying “What CRPF people have to do with it.”
Earlier government informed the court that seven ambulances have been allotted to concerned jail authorities for the benefit of inmates.
Meanwhile, the court also issued a notice and asked government to file response by next date of hearing to an application highlighting that parcels coming from Pakistan have been stopped.