Lawyers fraternity under banner of J &K High court Bar Association, Jammu and other bar associations in Kathua, Samba etc in Jammu province are on strike for the last 25 days against the conferring of powers of registration to newly created department of registration after appointing officers of revenue department as sub-registrars and registrars inplace of judicial officers as per earlier system. The lawyers of J&K High Court Bar Association are also opposing the plan of shifting courts from present court complex to Raika. The lawyers fraternity is on indefinite strike ofcourse on genuine issues and problems. Divesting powers of registration of documents is completely a misconceived and ill-advised decision. There was no logic or any plausible reason for the government to change the well established and foolproof system of registration of documents in judicial set up and confer the powers to revenue department, the working of which has always remained under clouds and public in general is already fed up with the corrupt practices of revenue department. The registration of documents under the control of judicial officers with powers of sub-registrars was going on very smoothly, legally and honestly, so citizens had no greivance with the registration process in judiciary. Under the registration Act, undoubtedly government has power to appoint sub-registrars and registrars, therefore after reorganization of J&K state,there was no reason for creating a new department of registration and divest the powers of judicial officers as sub-registrars and registrars. The registration of documents is also a legal work where an advocate can use his professional skills to draft and draw a document as well as guide the parties. The registration of documents does fall within framework of legal profession and one should not get swayed by ill opinions of many vested interests who propagate that registration of documents doesn’t fall within domain of legal profession.
The decision of Government has not only badly affected the lawyers of this part of India on the count of their livelihood and sustenance but also much inconvenience is caused to the public in general. Complaints of mismanagement of registration work in Revenue Department have started pouring in and newly appointed Sub- registrars are not unable to understand the genuine issues of people who aspire to register the documents. Government can easily change its decision in the larger interests of public and restore the powers of registration to judicial officers as it was prevalent prior to reorganization of state. Moreover, any proposal or plan to shift the courts from present place to Raika is not in the interests of jammunities in any manner. People are already facing environmental pollution and further deforestation for building concrete structures would add to miseries of people.
Administration of J&K union territory is required to shun stubborn attitude so as to maintain peaceful situation and make a decision to resolve the issue immediately by conceding the demands of lawyers fraternity.
Sanjay K Dhar