HC recommends courts at Sub-Division, Tehsil level to check pendency of cases

Mohinder Verma

JAMMU, Dec 14: In order to check pendency of cases, which remains at alarming level, State High Court has recommended creation of courts at Sub-Division and Tehsil level during a period of next three years. On the other hand, the State Government is actively considering early establishment of 22 Dehi Adalats and 8 fast track courts.
Reliable sources told EXCELSIOR that a three-judge committee headed by Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir has recommended to the State Government that new courts should be created at Sub-Division and Tehsil level in order to dispose off the backlog and keep pace with current filing of the cases.
The committee was constituted by the Chief Justice of State High Court, Justice M M Kumar in response to a direction issued by Supreme Court in a case titled Imtiyaz Ahmad Versus State of Uttar Pradesh whereby the Apex Court had sought to know from the State Government as well as High Court the steps being taken to clear the backlog of the cases and implementation of the recommendations of the Law Commission of India.
The committee has recommended courts of Sub-Judges at Sub-Division level and that of Munsiffs at Tehsil level as the existing judicial system is severely backlogged and is also not being able to keep pace with the current filings thus exacerbating the problem of backlogs, sources said. This recommendation, which has also been conveyed to the Supreme Court by way of filing an affidavit, would go a long way in facilitating timely access to justice for all the sections of the society.
According to the sources, the Law Commission of India, in its latest report titled “arrears and backlog: creating additional judicial wo(man)power” has devised a new mechanism based on rate of disposal method. Instead of earlier practice of creating courts on judge-to-population ratio, the Law Commission has recommended creation of courts keeping in view the pendency of the cases.
The Commission has stressed that once backlog is cleared the additional judicial manpower can be deployed for disposing of freshly instituted cases. In case of Jammu and Kashmir, the Law Commission, as per the newly devised mechanism, has highlighted the need for additional 14 to 36 judges in the higher judicial service and 19 to 63 judges in the sub-ordinate judicial service during the next three years to clear the backlog of cases.
State Government, in its affidavit submitted to the Apex Court, has mentioned that two additional courts at the district level were created in Handwara and Sopore in 2011-12 and 36 courts of Mobile Magistrates have already been created under 13th Finance Commission.
It has mentioned that process is going on for creation of eight fast-track courts, four courts to exclusively handle the cases under Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPSA) and Dehi Adalats-one each in each district of the State, sources privy to the affidavit filed in the Supreme Court said.
As far as Dehi Adalats are concerned, headquarters have already been identified and concurrence of the Planning and Finance Departments obtained. “Only Rules for the staff for these Adalats are required to be formulated and this exercise would be completed after the completion of election process and establishment of new Government in the State”, sources informed.
According to the sources, apart from increasing judge strength, the Law Commission has also recommended many other measures for reducing delays including application of good judicial management practices such as putting into place timeliness and performance benchmarks. It has also emphasized the need for establishing, based on rational criteria, time frame for the resolution of different types of cases as denial of timely justice amounts to denial of justice itself.

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