Article 35A row: Minister says govt shielding the act vociferously

Jammu: Minister for Law and Justice Abdul Haq Thursday reiterated that the government is forcefully defending JK’s stated position on Article 35A and other such litigations pending in the courts.

Winding up the discussion on the Demand for Grants of Law and allied Departments in the Legislative Assembly, Minister said the department has hired the services of a battery of senior most advocates of the country including Fali S Nariman, Shekhar Naphade, Rakesh Dwivedi and KV Viswanathan to vigorously pursue these litigations and put across the State’s position.

While outlining the road map to fine tune the justice system in the state, he said the government has constituted a committee to identify and weed out some of the frivolous litigations that will ensure timely deliverance of justice in the state.

Enumerating the measures taken by the Law Department during the past 3 years to fine-tune the delivery of justice, the Minister said that the government will shun the practice of carrying on law suits, which, due to lack of legal merit, have little to no chance of being won. He said this leads to denial of justice to the aggrieved persons, by dragging them in the courts unnecessarily.

He said the Committee has been mandated to review the State cases and the Law departments have been directed to place the cases before the Committee which are not worth contesting.  This will decrease the burden of unnecessary litigation on the State so that focused attention is given to the cases which are worth contesting

He said the government is taking steps to reduce the pendency of cases in various courts in the state. He said he is personally monitoring the status of some of the important cases and also calling review meetings to discuss the status of various other cases.

He said he has been impressed upon the law officers that they should take every possible steps for protection of State interests in the Court and that the interim directions which have effect of stalling development works should be immediately got vacated.

Minister said during the current financial year 9603 cases were disposed off in the JK High Court including 8137 criminal cases while 78496 cases were disposed off in subordinate cases including 22050 cases.

The minister further stated that the State Legal Services Authority organised 267 Lok Adalats this year and settled about 82281 cases besides 858 MACT cases while 75527 cases were also settles through National Lok Adalat.

He said with the constant efforts and regular monitoring and review meetings, the conviction rate in criminal cases have increased manifold and prosecution of these cases is being done with full vigour. 

He said instructions have been given that no innocent person should be falsely implicated in a case but offenders should be strictly dealt with the cases should be contested properly.

He said the State Government has also implemented the Shetty Commission recommendation thereby enhancing perks and allowances of employees besides creating number of posts in the Subordinate Judiciary.

The Law minister further stated that the government has constituted a Law Commission to review some of the laws which have become redundant over a period of time to improve the justice system in the state. He said the Commission will soon become functional after appointment of its Chairperson and Members which is in pipeline.

He said the commission will identify State laws which are no longer needed or relevant and can be immediately repealed or amended. He said the commission will also suggest suitable measures for quick redressal of citizens’ grievances, in the field of law and will examine the laws which affect the poor and carry out post-audit for socio-economic legislations besides taking measures as may be necessary to harness law and the legal process in the service of the poor. The law commission will also recommend measures for bringing the Statute book up-to-date by repealing obsolete laws and enactments or parts thereof which have outlived their utility.

He said Four Fast Track Courts of the rank of District and Sessions Judges for trial of cases against women have also been created at Jammu, Doda, Kupwara and Budgam. Law Minister further stated that government has also rolled out mission to computerize the Courts with signing of tripartite agreement between Government of India, State Government and High Court. He said during the current financial year, Rs 5.05 crore were released under various heads for implementation of E-Court Mission Mode Project while under phase 2nd of Mission Mode Project, a proposal for creation of 74 posts with a financial implication of Rs 1.81 crore is under consideration of the Government.

He said in order to speed up the trial which are being delayed due to non production of accused, all efforts are being made to record evidence by way video conference, through the concerned jail.

Minister said the Juvenile Justice Boards have also been created in Anantnag, Baramulla, Srinagar, Doda, Rajouri, Kargil, Jammu and Leh Districts with creation of eight posts of Principal Magistrates (Munsiffs) for the said Boards. 

He said the State Accountability Commission and State Human Rights Commission have been made fully functional by appointment of Chairpersons and Members.

He said the developmental activities in respect of State Judiciary are being carried out under Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) Development of infrastructural facilities for the Judiciary. The scheme aims at improving the physical infrastructure of Subordinate Courts as also the housing needs of judicial officers of District and Subordinate Courts in the country with a view to facilitate better justice delivery.





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