Srinagar, Oct 20: The Chief Justice of J&K High Court, Justice Gita Mittal, on Saturday said the dying declaration of a victim of sexual abuse supported by a doctor’s testimony can send the guilty to gallows.
The Chief Justice was speaking at a daylong training programme for presiding officers and doctors on how to handle survivors of sexual violence at hospitals.
The training, under the High Court of J&K, was organised in collaboration with the Health Department here at J&K State Judicial Academy.
Justice Alok Aradhe, Judge High Court, J&K, and Chairman of State Judicial Academy, Abdul Rashid Malik, Director State Judicial Academy, Yash Pal Bourney, Member Secretary, State Legal Service Authority, Dr Farida Noor, Professor and Head Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, and doctors from various government hospitals were present in the meeting.
Addressing the gathering, the Chief Justice said the purpose of holding this programme was to the explain the significant role a doctor plays in helping a victim to get justice.
Justice Gita said, “In a case of domestic violence, a doctor, while trying to ascertain the reasons behind the patient’s condition, usually records the patient’s history.”
“If the victim dies, the same statement recorded by the doctor before the death of the patient may be treated by the Judge as the dying declaration of the victim. The dying declaration, supported by the testimony of the doctor confirming that the victim actually made that statement, can be relied upon to convict the husband or the in-laws or whosoever has committed the crime. At times, it could even be relied upon to send the accused to gallows,” Justice Gita said.
The CJ urged for holding a frequent conversation between doctors and lawyers to remove the doubts that gets created at various instances while delivering the professional duties.
“Rape is not a medical term. It is certainly not taught in the medical books. It has been interpreted after the 2013 amendment to the law and has several nuances and connotations, including outraging modesty and other terms. These are all legal expressions. So, what the doctor has to record while doing a medical examination of a patient is debatable,” she added.
Reiterating the need to overcome the personal biases, the CJ said, “We do not realise that subconsciously we carry with us the baggage of our own experience in life.”
Quoting an example, CJ said if a sex worker complains of rape, the first impression people have is of surprise.
“We have to overcome that understanding of conceptualization, as everyone has right to sexual bodily integrity, no matter what he/she is involved in or is doing.”
She also explained the reason why it was important to sensitise the doctors regarding some legal knowledge and how they were supposed to react when they get a summon from the court.
“If a doctor is supposed to come to court as a witness and, at the same time, required to handle an emergency., what shall he doctor? Therefore, it is important for the doctors to be aware of how to deal in such circumstances,” said the Justice Gita.
She said during the training, participants will understand about the entire gamut of issues around the cases of sexual violence, especially as professionals.
The CJ expressed the desire that such types of programmes would be replicated all the divisions of the State, including Ladakh and then repeated here in Kashmir to raise awareness among professionals.
She said trainings like these make us more aware and sensitize us with what is lawful and clear doubts when the doctors are carrying out the medical examination of the victim, including the child who has undergone through sexual violence.
During the day, the resource persons Dr Jagadeesh Narayan Reddy, and Vidya Reddy presented and discussed various issues at length with the participants.
The participating doctors were provided with counselling in deposing evidence in the Court of law.
Scientific waste disposal continues to remain a challenge in Kashmir
Srinagar, Jan 18: The authorities have not been able to strike a balance between the increased tourist inflow and the scientific disposal of garbage, official documents reveal.
“Being a popular tourist destination, issues pertaining to solid waste are on the rise in the state and need to be addressed immediately,” reveals the Housing and Urban Development (H&UD) department’s 2018 draft action plan for solid-waste management.
It says that sold waste generation has witnessed an increase of over 8 percent in a decade.
“The Central Pollution Control Board report estimates that a total of 400 metric tons of waste is generated per day in Srinagar, 62 percent of this waste is organic in nature while the remaining is inorganic including 7 percent of plastic waste,” reads the document.
An official of H&UD department said that given the rapid urbanization and growing population, this sector (waste management) needs immediate attention.
“The valley’s non-dumping options to manage waste have also shrunk drastically. Burning waste no longer seems viable because of environmental concerns and poor segregation of waste. Compost plants are not doing well because manure doesn’t sell, and again becomes garbage,” the official said.
With population of 12.36 lakh, spread over an area of 294 sq km on both sides of Jhelum, not even a single residential area or commercial establishment in Srinagar has the facility of segregation of solid waste, and much of the waste is dumped into water bodies including Dal Lake.
“Civic bodies blame residents for not segregating the waste but what’s the point when everything will eventually be mixed-up? Segregation by residents will only work when the municipal bodies have complete door-to-door waste collection system and trash pickups have separate containers for dry and wet waste,” the official added.
He said for segregation, greater civic awareness was a must.
“But municipalities must also set up the infrastructure and notify their solid-waste management policy under the 2016 rules. So far, it has remained confined to papers only,” the official said.
A recent report by NITI Aayog ‘Report of Working Group II, Sustainable Tourism in the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR)’ too revealed that waste management was a huge challenge in Jammu and Kashmir and will become much more threatening as the number of tourists grows.
J&K fares poorly, with 0.14 gm per capita per day solid waste generation, the second worst in IHR region after Mizoram.
The state has faced repeated censuring by National Green Tribunal.
J&K has witnessed a mushroom growth of tourism infrastructure around water bodies, with little or no concern for the former’s impact over the latter.
90s massacres: Joint Hurriyat calls for shutdown on Jan 21, 25, and 27 in Kashmir parts
Srinagar, Jan 18: The Joint Hurriyat Leadership on Friday called for shutdown in Gaw Kadal, Handwara and Kupwara to mark the anniversaries of three massacres that took place in January 1990 in these areas.
The Joint Hurriyat comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik, in a statement asked people to observe complete shutdown in Gawkadal, Basant Bagh, Chota Bazar, Budshah Chowk and adjacent areas on January 21 (Monday).
It also asked people to observe shutdown in Handwara and Kupwara areas on January 25 and 27 respectively on Handwara and Kupwara massacres anniversaries.
“Carnage at Gaw Kadal, Handwara and Kupwara remind us of Indian brutal occupation and oppression. Illegal Military occupation followed by such massacres symbolizes callousness under the garb of so-called democracy. The nation of Kashmir is indebted to martyrs who laid down their lives for freedom and resistance leadership pledges to continue this struggle till the achievement of the sacred goal,” the statement said.
Joint Hurriyat said Kashmir is “indebted to martyrs who laid down their lives for freedom and resistance leadership pledges to continue this struggle till the achievement of the sacred goal.”
“Days like 21st, 25th and 27th January 1990 remind us of the sacrifices rendered by our dear ones. These are the days for reiteration of our commitment towards the sacred mission and today while recalling these great sacrifices we reiterate our pledge to take forward the task of martyrs till the achievement of the desired goal,” they said.
Fruit growers, dealers association meets Governor
Jammu, Jan 18: A delegation of The Kashmir Fruit Growers and Dealers Association, from Sopore led by its president F A Malik, met Governor Satya Pal Malik at the Raj Bhavan here on Friday.
The members of the delegation requested that the KCC loans of farmers be waived off on account of damage to the horticulture crops due to unexpected hailstorm.
They also requested that unhindered movement of fresh fruits outside the State be allowed.
“They also requested sanctioning of adequate funds for development of Fruit Mandi at Sopore; installation of High Mast Lights at Fruit Mandi Sopore and enroute from Sopore Bye-Pass to the Fruit Mandi; availability of quality pesticides and Tree Spray oils at genuine rates; construction of a fly over from Chakrodaykhan up to Hakim Sonaullah Hospital and Fruit Mandi; sanctioned railway track from Baramulla to Kupwara be routed from Amargarh Sopore station with a station in vicinity of Fruit Mandi; construction of a truck terminal at Tulball, Sopore and revival of juice plant at Doabgah,” a Raj Bhavan Spokesperson said.
Governor assured due consideration of their demands.