HC seeks response on state inaction over Dehi Adalat Act

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The Act to establish rural courts was passed in 2013

SRINAGAR: The J&K High Court on Saturday issued notice to the Chief Secretary J&K Government, the Commissioner/Secretary (GAD) and the Commissioner/Secretary Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs in view of the establishment of village courts or Dehi Adalats in the state of J&K.
The direction was passed after counsel Saqib Tufail moved a fresh Public Interest Litigation (PIL) through his lawyer Altaf Hussain Drabu stating that the J&K Legislature has passed a legislation in the year 2013 known as the Jammu and Kashmir Dehi Adalats Act, 2013, for establishing village courts at the grass-root level, but after the passage of four years nothing on ground has been done.
Tufail also stated that the purpose of establishing Dehi Adalats is to provide access to justice to citizens at their doorsteps and also for ensuring that justice cannot be denied to any citizen by reason of social, economic or other disabilities as enshrined in the Preamble and under Articles 39(A) and 14 of the Constitution.
The petitioner states in the petition that the Dehi Adalat Act, 2013, has been published in the Government Gazette on 24th October 2013 and has come into force on 03-09-2014 by virtue of SRO 274 of 2014. Due to the unfortunate state of affairs and the inaction of the state authorities, nearly four years have passed since the coming into force of the said Act. Till date, the respondents have failed to implement the Act.
“The Government by SRO 275 OF 2014 has already issued notification for the establishment of 22 Dehi Adalats in 22 Districts of the State, but no process has been initiated thereof to make Dehi Adalats functional in the State. The Legislature intended to bring the pillars of Justice at the door steps of its Citizens by passing the said Legislation, the said Legislation has a Magna-carta (fundamental rights) effect in opening doors of Justice to Citizens who are not able to secure Justice by reason of Social, Economic or other disabilities as enshrined in the Preamble and under Article 39(A) and 14 of the Constitution, but the inaction of the Respondents has stopped the objective of the Legislature to provide Justice at grass root level to its Citizens by way of the said Act,” the petition states.
The petitioner sought the court’s intervention by directing the respondents to implement the Jammu and Kashmir Dehi Adalats Act, 2013, in letter and spirit, thereby establishing the Dehi Adalats as provided under the Act and making them functional in the entire state of J&K.