Vulnerability audit of Judicial infra

Our judiciary has taken unto itself, one additional most important assignment to take care of and to assess vulnerability of its vast infrastructure to natural and human disasters taking place in Jammu and Kashmir . This is with a view to usher in preparation of a proper and need based risk management plan. In disasters and to attempt to pre-empt their occurrence, especially man made, immediate need at the spur of the moment is how to provide relief and rescue measures as also to mitigate the after effects. Various agencies, governmental and even nongovernmental, put their resources into operation to provide succour and other help to the victims .
It is noteworthy that otherwise also, all departments are mandatorily required to prepare their plans attuned to cater to the needs and requirements of Disaster Risk Reduction, in accordance with the State Disaster Management Policy of 2017. The additional valued role of the vastjudicial infrastructure in the process would bring about additional marvellous results. It is a matter of great satisfaction and a timely valued decision taken by the Chief Justice of the State High Court by ordering a proper assessment of judicial infrastructure’s role in management of disasters. The order lays emphasis on a workable plan in the sense that high level committee is sought to be constituted which has to complete the entire exercise in an expeditious manner but within a month’s time.
Though such a measure would be for the first time seen in Jammu and Kashmir , the fact, however, is that major High Courts in the country are already in the process of playing their valuable and helpful role in managing natural and manmade disasters. Jammu and Kashmir needed such an arrangement for more reasons in the sense it has a particular topography, hilly and scattered vast terrains laced with quite elastic erratic and unpredictable nature of weather conditions due to which unpredictable incidents conforming to the definitions of disasters, small and at times big, keep on taking place. In this connection, assessing, monitoring, suggesting foolproofsuggestions for resolutions are required as a consequential corollary especially when looked at the fact that out of 100 districts in the country, as many as 13 districts of Jammu and Kashmir have been identified as multi- hazard districts.
The role of the proposed high level committee is phenomenal and considerable to evaluate and suggest preventive measures especially in manmade disasters and mishaps since there was no hold on the ones in this fashion which were unpredictable or natural . For this, what is important is to make an in-depth study and assessment as to how much was the judicial infrastructure available across Jammu and Kashmir , assess the vulnerability and the levels of risk preparedness and suggest and keep in readiness the tools of policies and strategies to deal with both type of disasters.
To lend credibility to the noble task, the committee was given the option to constitute sub- committees and identify the ‘sample infrastructure’for conducting inspections and audits. This in turn, could streamline and standardise formats in different courts. To make it a model format, it was necessary to study as to how other High Courts in the country have proceeded in the matter. Different levels of monitoring including disaster management executive cells for effective coordination between the judiciary and various governmental agencies could be mooted out and implemented like in most of the High Courts. What is most important in the entire high promised exercise is the expected cogent role played by the Intelligence Bureau, National Institute of Disaster Management, Central Public Works Department and Central Industrial Security Force to coordinate and suggest preventive measures to the Chief Justice. With this move, it is expected that the entire vast mechanism would feel more organised, strengthened and rejuvenated so as to prevent disasters and provide timely intervention of adequate safety, security and relief measures looking to the vulnerability of as many as 13 districts of Jammu and Kashmir.