Whither State Litigation Policy?

It is an admitted fact that the State Government and its various agencies are the predominant litigants in courts, tribunals and the like and it is likely that the Government, as an efficient and responsible litigant, should adopt a well defined policy. Almost every State has its own Litigation Policy .The main aim behind such policy is to protect the rights of the citizens and to respect their fundamental rights and those in charge of conducting such litigations, must always take note of this basic principle. The aim also is to regularly keep reviewing the response as a responsible litigant, to the ever increasing cases against the State Government and its agencies which puts avoidable burden on the judiciary as also a drain on the State exchequer.
The State of Jammu and Kashmir too has a well defined Litigation Policy, on the pattern of the National Litigation Policy, notified nearly seven years back with intent to aim at result oriented objectiveness. The aim behind is reducing the huge pendency of cases against it and that good cases pleaded to be decided in favour of the State and the “bad” ones not unnecessarily pursued. There must, however, be a mechanism to see the manner of implementation of this policy as also the need to review it periodically to keep it tuned into the emerging and ever changing situations so that the State Government could be identified as very efficient and responsible litigant.
To address this important ingredient as enumerated in the policy itself, it is mentioned that there shall be an Empowered Committee at the State level headed by Advocate General so as to monitor the implementation of the policy and to ensure overall accountability.
Monitoring the implementation of the Litigation Policy demanded its ambit to get more spread which speaks for establishment of Empowered Committees at provincial level as enumerated in the provisions of the main Policy itself. This vital aspect has been conveniently ignored by the State Law Department continuously for the last seven years, thus rendering the efficacy of the purpose of the Litigation Policy and its implementation to redundancy.
We reiterate that the State Government , in particular the Law Department, must walk a mile extra in addressing the vital core issues of the entire gamut of litigations, ensuring that the court cases against it were not allowed to surge at the cost of the State exchequer. Why should the litigations not be conducted in a time bound, cohesive and result oriented manner especially when the State is vested with adequate infrastructure ? Why should frequent adjournments be prayed for by the Law Officers in the courts rather than contesting them to win for the State from where they get salaries? Why should not the delays be investigated very effectively and , if possible, change those Law Officers whose annual performance vis-à-vis the cogent outcome of the status of cases handled by them were  not found up to the mark? Let the Government cases before the courts, when presented and followed, not give an impression that they were orphans and no one’s concern. For that, the State Litigation Policy needs more teeth, sharper teeth in so far as its area of implementation was concerned.