Judicial Officers to proceed on leave only in unavoidable emergency
Physical verification of all pending cases ordered
JAMMU, Oct 11: Perturbed over huge pendency of cases in the courts across the State, Chief Justice of J&K High Court Justice Gita Mittal has issued new directions to all the Principal District and Sessions Judges for strict compliance. Moreover, process has been set into motion to seek daily work done statements from the courts to judge the performance of the Judicial Officers.
Sources in judiciary told EXCELSIOR that after going through the latest figures obtained from all the courts across the State, the Chief Justice has observed that pendency is still at alarming level and more steps are required to be initiated to reduce the same to the desired level.
Accordingly, she has issued new directions to all the Principal District and Sessions Judges aimed at further reducing the pendency and the same have been communicated by the Registrar General of the State High Court Sanjay Dhar.
All the Judicial Officers have been asked to conduct physical verification of the cases pending in their respective courts and thereafter the Principal District and Sessions Judges shall furnish a consolidated statement of their respective districts to the High Court.
“The Judicial Officers shall not proceed on leave unless there is an avoidable emergency and in no event, the Judicial Officers shall proceed on LTC/HTC during working days”, read the directions issued by the Chief Justice, the copy of which is available with EXCELSIOR.
Moreover, all the Principal District and Sessions Judges have been directed to obtain daily work done statements of the courts subordinate to them and furnish the same to the Registrar Vigilance, who shall place the same before the concerned Administrative Judge for evaluation and consideration.
“It is for the first time that process of obtaining daily work done statements has been set into motion in Jammu and Kashmir judiciary”, sources said, adding “till date the High Court was seeking work done statements vis-a-vis civil and criminal cases on quarterly basis although the same were not being furnished within the stipulated time-frame by large number of Principal District and Sessions Judges”.
It is pertinent to mention here that work done statements for the quarter ending June 2018 were received by the High Court last month—two and half months after the scheduled date.
“The objective behind seeking daily work done statements from the Principal District and Sessions Judges about the courts subordinate to them is to make all the Judicial Officers accountable in the process of reducing pendency and judge their performance”, sources informed.
Not only on timely follow-up action on these directions the High Court has also laid stress on all the Judicial Officers of the State adhering to the court timings strictly, sources further informed.
As far as pendency in the High Court is concerned, the Chief Justice has directed that the Registrar Judicial shall conduct physical verification of the cases pending in both the wings and furnish a report in this regard. “Further the infructuous and dead cases as well as the cases involving common question of law be identified for their bunching together and listing before the court”, read the directions.
Concerned over pendency of Jail Appeals, the Chief Justice has directed the Registrar Judicial to prioritize the listing of Jail Appeals—-the cases where the accused are in custody and the same shall be taken up ahead of all other cases on the hearing days by the bench holding the roaster. “The cause list must reflect the FIR numbers and the period spent by the convict/undertrial in jail”, said the order.
It is worthwhile to mention here that Chief Justice has already sought information relating to implementation of resolutions adopted in the Chief Justices Conference, 2016, matrimonial disputes and cases under provisions of Jammu and Kashmir Protection of Children from Sexual Violence Ordinance, 2018.
“Not only on pendency of cases of all categories, the Chief Justice is also laying equal thrust on improvement of infrastructure in the Subordinate Courts in the State for the convenience of Judicial Officers, lawyers and the litigants”, sources said.