HC warns jail to erring officials

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Aug 5: Jammu and Kashmir High Court today observed that the officials could be sent to jail for not implementing court direction on release of Rs 4.5 crore as salary to the Presiding officers by or before August 12.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice N P Vasanthakumar and Justice Hasnain Masoodi directed the Government to comply with its order dated July 30 wherein the Government was directed to release Rs 4.5 crore for payment of the salary to presiding officers of subordinate courts by or before August 12.
The direction was passed in a suo moto proceedings after Advocate General, Jehangir Ganaie, made a statement before the court that order be complied with. Advocate General earlier made the statement that the matter has been taken with the Finance Department and decision is awaited.
Court turned the submissions of the AG with the observation to him to make a clear stand whether you will implement the court direction or not, then court will take its recourse’ as the non-implementation of court directions amounts to sending jail the erring officials and let them face the action.
After these observations AG made the statement that court directions be complied with by or before coming Wednesday (12.8.2015) and accordingly the matter has been posted for the said date.
Earlier court had directed the State Government to release a sum of Rs 4.5 crore for payment of the salary to 38 presiding officers of Additional and Special Mobile Magistrates and their staff as and in this connection issued notice to CS of the State and Law Department for reporting compliance and response of the direction.
This Court has taken cognizance of the matter at the instance of Registry noticing the fact that 38 Additional/Special Mobile Magistrates and the staff attached to the Courts have been established under 13th Finance Commission in lieu of creating the morning and evening Courts for the State for improving justice delivery system by reducing the number of pending cases.
The said Additional/Special Mobile Magistrate Courts were created on noticing the climatic and topographical scenario of the State. The said Courts were created by Government Order no. 929-LD(A) of 2012 dated 27.02.2012 and GO No. 2011-LD(A) of 2012 dated 20.06.2012. The Government of  India  has  stopped  funding  under  the scheme namely 14th Finance Commission due to which from March 2015, the Judicial Officers as well as the staff working in these Courts are not getting their salaries.
The plight of the Judicial Officers and the court staff in not getting the salary was also reported in the daily newspaper namely “Daily Excelsior” in its issue dated 22.06.2015. The salary amount required for the Judicial Officers as well as the staff for the financial year 2015-2016 is Rs. 10, 38, 97,152/.  As per the information furnished by the Registry of this Court a sum of Rs. 86,58,096/-  is required as monthly salary and an amount of Rs. 4,32,90,480/- is required to be paid as pending salary to the Judicial Officers and the Court Staff for five months i.e. salary payable from March 2015 to July 2015.
“The necessity of creating the Special Mobile Magistrate Courts due to pendency of thousands of cases and the continuance of the said Courts for disposal of the cases pending.  Speedy justice to litigants as well as the victims are guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India which is the responsibility of the State. “The said rights are equally applicable to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir State in terms of Section 10 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir”, court had  said.
Court made it clear that the payment of salary to the Judicial Officers and the court staff who are rendering justice to the litigants has to be given top priority by the State Government.
Court while directing for release of Rs 4.5 crore as part payment of the salary of the Judicial Officers made it clear that the State Government cannot ‘shirk its responsibility’ on the alleged plea of want of funds. It is well settled proposition of law declared by the Supreme Court that it is the responsibility of the person running the administration to find out the source to extend the guaranteed rights of the citizens.

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