Bring an end to defiance

Judiciary is one of the three pillars of the democracy other than Legislature and Executive and Constitution of India has clearly defined powers of each of these pillars. The objective behind separation of powers is to ensure that each pillar plays its role independently for the welfare of any State or the country. The intervention from the Judiciary comes when either there is violation of fundamental rights of the citizens or when it is brought to its notice that laws enacted by the Legislature are not being implemented by the Executive. It is obligatory on the part of Executive to implement the directions of the Judiciary so that majesty of law prevails.
During the past few years, a disturbing trend of Executive either not taking seriously the directions of Judiciary or adopting dilly-dallying approach in implementing the same has emerged in Jammu and Kashmir. A sort of standoff between the Judiciary and the Executive is not only depriving people of their fundamental rights but also creating impediments in implementing various laws in letter and spirit.  Every now and then the J&K High Court is constrained to pass strictures against the State and its senior officers in both civil and police administration for taking casually its directions particularly in Public Interest Litigations (PILs) on issues of immense public importance. Many a times the High Court is even constrained to seek the personal appearance of Administrative Secretaries of different departments and above all Chief Secretary when non-compliance to directions continues indefinitely.
Only recently, Division Bench of the State High Court, which is the highest court in Jammu and Kashmir, observed that officers of State Government have developed the habit of taking the orders of the court in a casual manner and without attaching any sanctity. The High Court even went to the extent of mentioning that nobody in the country is above the law. Moreover, few days back High Court came down heavily on authorities of civil administration for their failure to implement its order regarding protection of world famous tourist resort of Gulmarg and sounded warning bells by mentioning “we may pass adverse remarks to be incorporated in the Annual Confidential Reports of the erring authorities if the non-compliance continues further”. It is not understandable as to why the authorities concerned are not ready to implement the directions of the High Court vis-à-vis strict compliance to the Master Plan so as to protect this resort from turning into jungle of unplanned and haphazard structures.
Numerous incidents of non-compliance to the directions of the High Court is notwithstanding the fact that few months back Chief Secretary was told in unambiguous terms that he should come up with a circular instruction for all the heads of the departments asking them to comply with the orders within fixed timeframe so as to allay the cost, men and machine of the State and mental agony faced by the litigants due to non-compliance. “Every day contempt petitions are filed highlighting non-compliance of the orders passed by the High Court. What has been seen that after their diarizing and listing before the bench, the contempt petitions are dealt with casually like regular matters and the respondents implore in a routine manner to file statement of facts/compliance”, the High Court had observed in the directions issued to the Chief Secretary.
It is not clear whether the Chief Secretary has come up with the circular instruction in this regard as continuous adverse remarks from the High Court against the State establish that there is no change in the prevailing situation and Executive is not ready to pay serious attention towards the directions of Judiciary. This is really a disturbing trend and needs to be brought to an end without wasting more time otherwise interests of the State and its people would be the biggest casualty of prevailing stand-off.


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