Avoid unnecessary adjournments, fast track disposal of cases: HC to Spl Courts

JKP fails to implement directions of Apex Court

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Aug 14: In order to ensure that guilty are punished as expeditiously as possible, the State High Court has, for the first time, put in place a mechanism for speedy disposal of cases under the provisions of Jammu and Kashmir Protection of Children from Sexual Violence Ordinance, 2018 as directed by the Supreme Court. However, Jammu and Kashmir Police has yet not initiated any step to implement the directions of the Apex Court.
In the Writ Petition titled Alakh Alok Srivastava Versus Union of India and Others, the Supreme Court, while expressing serious concern over pendency of cases of sexual violence against the children, on May 1, 2018 had issued several directions to the States for prompt compliance.
The Apex Court had directed the High Courts to ensure that cases registered under Protection of Children from Sexual Violence Act are tried and disposed of by the Special Courts as expeditiously as possible and the Presiding Officers of such courts are sensitized in the matters of child protection and psychological response.
Moreover, it was stressed that instructions shall be issued to the Special Courts for fast tracking the cases by not granting unnecessary adjournments and following the procedure laid down in the law to complete the trial in a time bound manner.
The Chief Justices of all the High Courts were further directed to constitute a committee of judges to regulate and monitor the progress of the trials under the law. Similarly, Director Generals of Police of the States were directed to constitute Special Task Force to ensure that the investigation is properly conducted and witnesses are produced on the dates fixed before the trial courts.
Now, in compliance to these directives of the Apex Court, the State High Court has designated the courts of all the Principal District and Sessions Judges as Special Courts under the Protection of Children from Sexual Violence Ordinance, which was enacted for the first time in Jammu and Kashmir early this year.
Moreover, all the Principal District and Sessions Judges have been directed to fast track the cases without granting unnecessary adjournments by following the procedure laid down in the Ordinance and complete the trial in a time-bound manner or within a specific time frame fixed under the Ordinance.
The Chief Justice of the State High Court has also ordered constitution of a committee comprising of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Sindhu Sharma to examine and monitor the progress of the trials under the provisions of Jammu and Kashmir Protection of Children from Sexual Violence Ordinance, 2018.
The committee has been directed to examine and frame the guidelines for the Special Courts so that child friendly atmosphere is provided in such courts in tune and spirit with the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Violence Ordinance, 2018.
Though High Court has started implementing the directions of the Supreme Court by designating the Special Courts and passing necessary instructions to the Presiding Officers yet Jammu and Kashmir Police has yet not shown compliance to the Apex Court orders, sources said, adding “by not acting upon the orders of the Supreme Court the J&K Police has adopted contemptuous attitude towards the highest court of the country”.
“Without proper and timely investigation in the cases of sexual violence against the children the speedy justice cannot be ensured by the Special Courts as such by taking casually the directives of the Supreme Court Jammu and Kashmir Police is indirectly creating impediments in achieving the objectives behind the Ordinance”, sources said.
The shocking aspect is that neither State High Court nor Jammu and Kashmir Police have any data about the pendency of cases relating to sexual violence against the children and this was also viewed very seriously by the Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra while delivering the judgment in Writ Petition titled Alakh Alok Srivastava Versus Union of India and Others.