Srinagar: In view of the annual Darbar move, the J&K High Court has called for a report, within two days, from the Secretary, General Administration Department, regarding the current status and location of all government records that are transported during the Durbar move.
Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rajnesh Oswal remarked that during many hearings it has been observed that when government records are asked for in Srinagar, the counsels of the government request that a copy of the application be served upon the counsel in Jammu, as they have no access to the records that are in Jammu.
“This has also been our experience in case of matters which came up for consideration in Jammu when the Darbar was at Srinagar,” the court observed.
“We direct the Secretary, General Administration Department to inform this court as to the status and location of all records of the Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir as at present. This report shall be filed within two days from today,” the court directed.
Direction was also passed to the Secretary/ Commissioner, Finance Department, to place a report regarding estimation of the salary bill for one week of the staff which is involved in the Darbar move.
In the meantime, several departments filed compliance reports before the court mentioning the financial and manpower usage in the Darbar move.
A report filed by the Financial Commissioner informed that 10,112 employees were moved during April 2019 for which over Rs 16 lakh was spent. For the Durbar move in October 2019, 9,695 employees were moved, incurring expenditure of over Rs 26 lakh.
The Estates department in its report mentioned that for the year 2018-2019, 607 private houses were used for accommodation, as also 748 government apartments and 7,659 hotels.
The Director General of Police in his report informed that 10,103 security personnel were involved in providing security cover during the Darbar moves in April 2018, October 2019 and October 2019.
The Registrar Judicial also submitted his report mentioning that the Darbar move has huge impact on the administrative functioning of the High Court as the whole administrative record is required to be packed, transported and then un-packed.
“The packing of the record takes at least one week, transportation of the record takes another week, and one week for un-packing and settling the record. Thus, at least for three weeks administrative work on one Darbar Move gets hampered,” the report states.
The J&K government has for now deferred the Darbar move till June 15 due to the coronavirus situation. Earlier, the High court Chad asked for a detailed report from Jammu and Kashmir government over the Darbar move after a submission was made that the movement of people at this time could spread Covid-19 infection.