Srinagar: Taking strong exception to the non-functioning of J&K Special Tribunal at Srinagar, the J&K High Court on Friday said the people of Kashmir Valley can’t be left without the redressal forum is created by statute.
“Till such time the members are posted for hearing the cases at Srinagar, the chairman J&K Special Tribunal is directed to hear the cases at Srinagar either himself or send a member from Jammu for hearing of cases in the week commencing from March 14 (Monday),” said a division bench of Justices Muzaffar Hussain Attar and B S Walia and directed its registry to convey the order to the chairman of the Tribunal “forthwith”.
The directions followed submissions by Kashmir High Court Bar Association’s president Mian Qayoom that despite directions by the court last week, the Special Tribunal is still not functional in the summer capital of the state.
He said that neither chairman of the tribunal, Pramod Jain, was holding the court nor executive or judicial member were available at Srinagar for the last nearly three months.
On the other hand, Qayoom said the chairman holds the court regularly along with Executive and Judicial members at Jammu.
“Due to the non-functioning of the tribunal at Srinagar, the litigant people are suffering very badly,” he added.
Last week also, the court had observed that the executive wing of the government was duty bound to provide redressal mechanism to the people for which legislative enactment are already in the force.
“The litigant public cannot be left without redressal forum,” the court had said, observing that the inaction on part of the state government in not supplying the vacancies was “tantamount to denial of the justice to the people of the state.”
Accordingly it had directed the state government through its chief secretary to take immediate steps for fill up the vacancies of President and Member of the state Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission within three weeks.
The post of president and the member were vacant for more than three months as result of which a large number of cases including 1200 pertaining to the flood sufferers were pending before the Commission.
Interestingly, the Commission has been designated as the State Food Commission under National Food Security Act (NFSA) by the state government. It is headless for after Justice (retd.) B AKirmani was appointed as member of the State Accountability Commission in October last year while ShabnumMunshi, a member of the body, completed her term on January 11 this year.
Meanwhile, in another direction, the court directed Managing Director SICOP to make lifts functional in Sanat Ghar building here within a week’s time.