The rule of law is to ensure that societies, states and countries work in order, so that, people therein can live in peace and harmony, and legal professionals are the spine of any legal system and without them rule of law cannot prevail. Such is the nobility of legal profession,however, in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir, this noble profession now a days has become so much chaotic and ignoble due to an orthodox approach towards the change, such as, the currently prevailing situation in the courts of Jammu & Kashmir, wherein indefinite suspension of work is being followed by the Lawyers.
This agitation is nothing more than a demand which can no more be fulfilled as Government has already progressed on a path to change and taking a u- turn doesn’t seem to be possible, practical and advisable, and in the long run, it will only be proved beneficial for the legal fraternity particularly for young lawyers.
What is being demanded byway of this agitation that the power of registration of documents to remain with Judicial Officers instead of Sub-Registrars? Why is that required only in the state of J&K when across India, power of registration of documents is with Sub-Registrars. As with abrogation of Article 370, Jammu &Kashmir has become integral part of India, so as, UT of Jammu & Kashmir is required to follow same systems and practises as are prevailing across India.
This action of government is surely going to bring a big change,which is going to have better quality of lawyers, as, registration of document is never a task of Advocates. This change will help and give more opportunities to young lawyers to spend more time and work on better cases, which will help them to have better legal knowledge, and their legal acumen and intellect will improve because effective time can be given to litigation cases, and the whole scenario will change. The result of which will be better, efficient and confident young lawyers, and also by way of this change, our lawyer fraternity particularly young lawyers will earn more as improved effectiveness will make them more confident, due to which, they can demand the professional fee they deserve in a case in a similar way,as,it happens across India.
Even otherwise, transfer of registration to Sub-Registrars will not in any waystop Lawyers/Advocates to get registration done for their client or appear before the office of Sub-Registrar and in any case, Advocates’ requirement will not get dispensed with as all the documents are to be drafted by the Advocates as per the terms and conditions negotiated by the parties and for registration before the Sub-Registrar even their court clerks can help the client as it takes place throughout India.
This change will also bring better quality in the Judiciary, as with this change, Judicial Officers will have more time to work on litigation cases and tender effective and speedy justice in a scenario where there is so much pendency of cases before the Courts and the Courts are over burdened and it becomes humanly impossible for the Courts to tender speedy justice and as such, the justice is delayed which means justice is denied.
The second demand in the agitation is relocation of High Court form current location to a new location, which will be bigger premises, wherein the number of courts shall increase.Looking at the present condition of our High Court, there is a lot of pendency of cases and getting the matter heard and decided is nearly impossible as long pending cases are listed but never reach for hearing. Litigants are themselves appearing before the High Court with a plea regarding their matter has not been heard for a very long time. This is because our Judiciary is over burdened as the number of Judges are less than the strength required. In this case as well, justice is delayed which means it is denied. This step of the government also seems to improve delivery of justice by having more Court in one premises.
Also, the road leading to the existing High Court of Jammu is also congested and there are frequent traffic jams which is also a great inconvenience to the litigants as well as the Advocates. With the shifting of High Court along with district and Subordinate Courts in a bigger premises will bring effectiveness in tendering of justice to the litigants and the public at large. Also, as per fire norms, the High Court building is not safe, then, why justice is demanded to be delivered from a place which is more than chaotic?
In view thereof, why do we not want to welcome the change towards a better future and when it is surely going to bring betterment and refinement, whichwill also result in retaining the nobility of legal profession.The real question is: Are we fighting a genuine cause?
Aside, change always brings something better, change is the rule of nature. Everything changes so why should we as lawyers remain stuck to the old tradition, pattern and practises. And why should we not welcome the change, walk with the time and need, try to find better opportunities in this change, which shall bring a better future for us and the generations to come.
(The author is Advocate J&K High Court)
(Views of the author are personal)