Virtual mode playing vital role in dispensing justice
JAMMU, Apr 10: Despite difficult situation created by deadly Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Common High Court of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh and District and Subordinate Courts have performed well as far as Case Clearance Rate (CCR) is concerned.
This can be gauged from the data furnished by Registrar General of the High Court to the Union Ministry of Law and Justice on the insistence of the Department Related Parliam-entary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievance, Law and Justice of the Rajya Sabha.
Following massive surge in the COVID-19 cases and subsequent imposition of lockdown in the month of March last year, the physical hearings in the Common High Court of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh was stopped in the light of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of the Government of India and Government of J&K Union Territory.
Even several members of Higher and Subordinate Judiciary got infected by the Coronavirus. However, in order to ensure delivery of justice to the litigants hearing of cases was started through virtual mode by the High Court as well as Subordinate Courts.
Despite challenging circumstances, the High Court and District and Subordinate Judiciary left no stone unturned to dispose of the cases and this can be gauged from the Case Clearance Rate, the information about which has been shared by the Registrar General with the Union Ministry of Law and Justice.
As per the data, the copy of which is available with EXCELSIOR, in the year 2018 a total of 16855 cases were instituted in the High Court and a total of 14875 cases were disposed of (88.25%). However, in the year 2019, the disposal percentage declined to 57.19% as against 17874 cases instituted in the year, 10223 were disposed of by the High Court.
In the year 2020 despite challenging circumstances, the Case Clearance Rate of the High Court increased to 231.79% as against 6900 cases instituted in the year a total of 15994 cases were disposed of.
As far as District and Subordinate Courts are concerned, a total of 148040 cases were instituted in the year 2018 against which 146194 cases were disposed of (98.75%). In the year 2019, a total of 91034 cases were instituted and 81520 were disposed of (89.54%) while as in the year 2020, against 89106 cases instituted a total of 62465 cases were disposed of (70.10%).
The data clearly establishes that no stone was left unturned by the High Court and Subordinate Judiciary to provide justice to the litigants even during the challenges posed by COVID-19.
The Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice of the Rajya Sabha in its 105th report had directed that the Registry of different courts should be requested to collate and maintain the Case Clearance Rate of the courts in order to assess the performance in dispensation of justice.
It had further directed that the Case Clearance Rate data should be periodically collected and integrated with the National Judicial Data Grid as it will help in maintaining transparency and ensuring judicial accountability.
Accordingly, the National Court Management Systems Committee of the Supreme Court had prepared the formula to be used for preparation of Case Clearance Rate. Thereafter, the Joint Secretary in the Department of Justice of Union Ministry had dashed communication to all States and UTs seeking data regarding Case Clearance Rate.
Though the resurfacing of COVID-19 cases in J&K and Ladakh Union Territories has again compelled the stopping of physical hearing of cases yet in order to ensure that litigants don’t face difficulties in getting justice virtual mode is being effectively used by the High Court and Subordinate Courts for disposal of cases.