Chief Justice takes serious note, seeks progress report on weekly basis; Jammu, Srinagar, Baramulla districts on top of list
Srinagar: Incredible it may sound but it is a fact that large number of cases of different nature are pending for disposal in several courts of Jammu and Kashmir during the past over two and half decades.
Now, perturbed over inordinate delay in dispensing justice, the Chief Justice of State High Court Justice Gita Mittal has issued directions for furnishing progress report on weekly basis.
Sources in judiciary told during video-conference with the Principal District and Sessions Judges of the State held recently to review progress on disposal of cases pending in all the courts across Jammu and Kashmir, the Chief Justice Gita Mittal was shocked to know that there is long list of cases of different nature which are pending for disposal during the past over two and half decades.
These cases were instituted between January 1, 1970 and December 31, 1994 but their fate is still hanging in balance, which puts a big question mark on the performance of the subordinate judiciary, sources said, adding “the possibilities of litigants or the respondents in some of these cases are no more alive cannot be ruled out”.
Accordingly, the Chief Justice got a list of over 25 years and above old cases prepared and the same has been shared with the concerned Principal District and Sessions Judges for disposal on priority basis, sources said, adding “the Chief Justice has asked Registrar Rules, J&K High Court to seek latest status and progress report in respect of such cases on weekly basis”.
Not only on 25 years and above old cases, the Chief Justice has also issued directions for close monitoring of the progress of more than five years old cases pending adjudication in different courts, sources further informed.
“You are requested to furnish latest status and progress report in respect of cases mentioned in the lists on weekly basis and even compile a list of other cases pending for more than five years with their progress and send the same to this office”, read Communication No.11200/RR dated July 26, 2019 addressed by Registrar Rules, J&K High Court, Srinagar to all the Principal District and Sessions Judges of the State.
As per the list assessed by Excelsior, majority of the 25 years and above old cases are pending in Jammu district (38) followed by Srinagar district with 30 cases. Baramulla is the third district having large pendency of 25 years and above old cases. The other districts are Kathua, Bandipora, Anantnag, Doda and Samba.
As far as Jammu district is concerned, a case titled Munshi Ram and Another Versus Punjab Singh and Others, which was registered on January 22, 1986, is still at hearing stage while as a case titled Narinder Parkash Kotwal and Another Versus State of Jammu and Kashmir, which was registered on May 17, 1991 is still at evidence stage and next date of hearing is September 12, 2019.
Likewise, a case titled Krishna Sahi and Others Versus Cantonment Board Jammu, which was registered on July 25, 1987, is still at arguments stage. A case titled Jammu and Kashmir Bank Versus Balwant Singh and Another is at service-summon stage although it was registered on November 6, 1993.
As far as Srinagar district is concerned, a case titled Pritam Singh Versus Board of School Education, which was registered on April 25, 1994, is still at hearing stage while as a case filed by Punjab National Bank against Ali Art Palace on January 11, 1986 is still at arguments stage.
In Doda, a case titled Shanti Devi versus Mansa Ram (presently dead), which was registered on December 18, 1980, is still pending for passing of order while as in Anantnag district, a case titled Mumtaz Afzal Beigh versus Hajra Begum, which was registered on May 6, 1989 is still pending for arguments and next date of hearing is August 14, 2019.
“Similar is the status of almost all the 25 years and above old cases pending in different courts of the State”, sources said, adding “it seems that ensuring disposal of such cases never received due attention of the concerned judicial officers otherwise there was no justification in delaying their fate for such a long time”.