JAMMU, Jan 12: J&K has yet not signed the tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Phase-II of e-Courts Mission Mode Project for which Government of India has approved huge financial assistance.
This was revealed by Minister for Law and Justice in a written reply to the question of BJP MLA from Ramnagar, Ranbir Singh Pathania. The Minister also disclosed that 7 posts of Judges are lying vacant in the High Court and 27 in Subordinate Courts thereby creating ‘obstacles’ in expediting clearance of pending cases.
During the Phase-I of the e-Courts Mission Mode Project aimed at computerization of courts in Jammu and Kashmir, an amount of Rs 56.80 lakh was released in favour of the High Court but the same could not be implemented within the specified time-frame and the same had to be extended up to March 31, 2015.
“Government of India has approved the proposal for Phase-II of the e-Courts Mission Mode Project with a budget estimate of Rs 1670 crore for which tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is required to be signed by the State Government”, the Law Minister said, adding “Finance Department has concurred to the signing of the MoU after getting No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Information Technology Department”.
“After receipt of the NOC further action for signing of tripartite MoU will be taken”, the Minister informed the House. He, however, didn’t specify any time-frame for completion of this much needed exercise.
He claimed that Government was committed to provide speedy justice to the masses and all necessary measures are being taken in this regard. “No doubt a good number of cases are pending before various courts in the State but various initiatives/steps are being taken to minimize the pendency of cases”, the Minister said, adding “the creation of courts at various levels in the recent past will surely slash down the pendency of cases”.
The Law Minister informed the Lower House that judicial infrastructure is being constantly and regularly upgraded in the State and computerization of the courts is also a step forward in this direction.
About the steps being taken to strengthen Alternate Dispute Redressal (ADR) mechanism, the Minister said that Legal Services Authority is constantly organizing awareness camps about ADR mechanism. During the year 2016, as many as 20 such camps were held by different District Legal Services Authorities in the State and up to November 2016, 40518 cases of different nature were settled through Lok Adalats and an amount of Rs 27.87 crore was awarded as compensation in 730 MACT cases in the State.
“A comprehensive mechanism has also been put in place for conduct of criminal cases before the High Court”, the Minister said, adding “the work and performance of Law Officers is being effectively monitored by the Government to ensure proper representation to State cases pending in different courts”.
“All these steps are likely to being down the pendency at various levels and gear up speedy disposal of cases”, the Law Minister claimed.