Also creation of 40 new posts of different categories (10 each) at the new court complexes in the selected districts having a financial implication of Rs. 258.245 lacs (salary) and Rs 21.657 lacs (NPS) per financial year has been approved.
While approving, the government has underscored that amid gradual increase in the population of Jammu and Kashmir there has been substantial increase in judicial workload which has necessitated the opening of new court complexes to cater to the increased public demand. The decision is in the right perspective.
There is a need for proper and reasonable facilities in other courts. It is mandatory that the Judicial Officers as well as the staff perform from well built courtrooms and where associated facilities are provided.
Also efforts should be concentrated towards disposal of the court cases. The courts in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere in India continue to be clogged with cases, the majority of them long-pending ones. As per the available data, the Supreme Court has seen a 3.6% rise in pending cases. The pending cases in high courts have risen by 12.4% while district and subordinate courts, too, saw a 6.6% increase. It is not the case that efforts have not been made to liquidate the burgeoning docket. Over the years, many plans were chalked out to streamline the system of disposal of cases in the courts.
In this endeavor, J&K high court had set targets to be met periodically. Status reports or information was to be submitted by the concerned Judicial Officers from time to time. For lack of data, it is not known how much pendency was taken care of.
The pandemic on account of the covid-19 has surely affected the routine. Rather, it added new challenges.
Soon after taking over, the acting Chief Justice chalked out an Action Plan to deal with the pendency of cases.
Any strategy or an Action Plan to streamline the process requires proper monitoring and follow-up. While there is a need for filing periodic status and progress reports to meet the targets under the Action Plan, the government has a role. There has been grossly inadequate judge strength and the same must increase. It is imperative that for justice and the rule of law to seem meaningful to the people, the government must play its part efficiently.