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Waiting for Justice: 1.5 lakh cases pending in JK courts

Firdous Hassan





Srinagar, Dec 17: Over 1.5 lakh cases are pending in different courts across Jammu and Kashmir including 10488 in High Court alone.

The long-term pendency, the data shows, is majorly because of weak physical infrastructure, lack of supporting court staff and applicable rules of procedure, and, most importantly, less number of judges.

Other factors for cases stretching beyond a decade, the data says, include the nature and complexity of the facts, nature of evidence beside cooperation of the stake-holders, investigation agencies, witnesses and litigants associated with the cases.


As per the documents available with The Kashmir Monitor, these 1, 57,261 pending cases include 69,696 civil and 87,565 criminal cases.

The state, as per the documents, is in need of at least 86 more judges and subordinates to deal with the cases pending for years together.

Documents reveal that Srinagar district alone has 26,146 cases pending, including 10757 civil and 15389 criminal.

Of them 4048 cases are pending for the last 5 to 10 years.

Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora in north Kashmir have 11252, 8272, 3702 pending cases respectively which include a huge chunk of cases witnessing no progress for nearly a decade.

Similarly, in Ganderbal and Budgam in central Kashmir, 2729 and 5542 cases respectively are pending due to the lack of concerned workforce.

South Kashmir’s Anantnag, Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam districts have 7727, 5003, 3590 and 2935 cases pending respectively, and the number of cases, which witnessed no results for nearly a decade in these districts, is 595.

Courts in Jammu region have 79,816 pending cases including 42937 in Jammu,  Kathua (5133), Reasi (2379), Poonch (3681), Kishtwar (1835), Doda (4280), Rajouri (6346), Ramban(2076), Samba(5503) and Udhampur (5646) cases.

Atleast 8,237 cases in Jammu region have been reported pending for nearly a decade now in the courts due to the lack of manpower.

Leh and Kargil have 311 and 236 pending cases respectively.

A research by New Delhi-based think tank, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy in its report based of regal research revealed that Jammu and Kashmir takes 742 days compared to the benchmark of 153 days needed to complete its two-tier recruitment cycle for civil judge posts.

The report claims most states and their high courts do not adhere to the schedule laid down by the Supreme Court for filling up the judicial vacancies.

The report ranks states based on average time taken to complete one recruitment cycle and the percentage of vacancies potentially filled. It collated data for a 10-year period, from 2007 to 2017.

As per the constitutional framework, the selection and appointment of judges in subordinate courts is the purview of the High Courts and state governments concerned.

In case of recruitment of judicial officers in the states, recruitment is done by the High Courts, whereas in other States, the recruitment is done by High Courts in consultation with State Public Service Commission.

As per the SC order, the two-tier process should take 153 days whereas the three-tier examination procedure should take around 273 days, the report reads.


Lead Stories

Highway suicide bombing: 5 more CRPF men succumb, death toll 49



Srinagar, Feb 15: Five more personnel of the paramilitary CRPF succumbed to their injuries late Thursday evening and early Friday morning taking the number of those dead in Thursday’s suicide attack on Kashmir highway to 49.
On Thursday afternoon at about quarter past three, a massive suicide bombing took place on the highway near Lethpora in Awantipora town of Pulwama district, about 20 kilometres away from the city-centre here.
A local Jaish militant rammed a vehicle loaded with explosives into a convoy of CRPF vehicles coming from Jammu, ripping apart one of the buses, which had 44 personnel aboard, while causing substantial damage to at least two other buses.
Quoting an official of the CRPF, local news agency Global News Service confirmed that five more critically wounded soldiers succumbed to injuries in the army hospital Thursday evening and Friday morning taking the death-toll of the slain troopers to 49.
“While a total of 44 CRPF men belonging to different battalions were travelling in one vehicle, 39 others were travelling in another,” the CRPF official said.
He added that the CRPF men belonged to 3rd, 17th, 21st, 45th, 54th, 61st, 76th, 82nd, 92nd, 98th, 118th and 176th battalions.
“None from the bus carrying 44 CRPF men survived. Five of the injured among those travelling in another bus succumbed, one of them yesterday (Thursday),” he said.
Militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad in a statement on Thursday had said that their militant, Adil Ahmad Dar alias Waqas Commando, a resident of Pulwama, was the attacker who drove the vehicle (an SUV) and carried out the suicide attack.
The bus which bore the major brunt was part of a convoy of 78 vehicles carrying over 2,500 troopers of the paramilitary force.
On Friday, a wreath-laying ceremony was held at Humhama here and was attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other officials of the Union Ministry and state government.
Quoting official sources, news agency GNS said that bodies of 40 of the slain were identified while body parts of nine others were collected and would be sent to their native villages after confirmation.
“Nine of the slain CRPF men, the agency reported, are beyond identification and now DNA test would be conducted to identify their body parts.
“The nine personnel are known but their body parts are not differentiable and now DNA tests are being done,” the news agency reported, adding, “the samples have been taken and would be matched with their relatives.”
CRPF spokesperson Ashish Kumar Jha, the news agency reported, said that bodies of forty personnel have been sent to their respective villages for the last rites.
Asked about the DNA sampling and missing personnel, the spokesman, as per GNS, refused to comment and dropped the phone.
On Friday, a team of NIA visited the scene of the attack and thoroughly searched the area and collected samples for forensic investigations. “The nature of explosive used and quantity used would be revealed during investigations,” reports said. (With inputs from GNS)

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Lead Stories

Civilian traffic to be restricted during convoy movement: Rajnath



Srinagar, Feb 15: Home Minister Rajnath Singh Friday helped carry the coffin of one of the slain CRPF personnel after he laid a wreath on the mortal remains of the troops, who were killed in a suicide attack in Kashmir on Thursday, officials said.
Shortly after arriving in Srinagar from Delhi, the home minister attended a solemn function here where the mortal remains of over 40 CRPF personnel were kept in coffins, draped with tri-colour.
Singh helped carry the coffin of a slain CRPF personnel before it was flown out of J&K in a special aircraft.
Apart from Rajnath, J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik, Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, CRPF Director General R R Bhatnagar, Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dilbagh Singh besides others attended the wreath laying ceremony.
“The nation will not forget the supreme sacrifice of our brave CRPF jawans. I have paid my last respects to the martyrs of Pulwama. The sacrifice will not go in vain,” Singh said.
The dignitaries stood in silence till the coffins were loaded in a truck which went to the Srinagar airport, the official said.
Later during a press conference, Rajnath Singh said that he has asked the officers to review the security provided to people “taking money from Pakistan and its intelligence agency ISI.”
In an apparent reference to separatist leaders, Singh, according to news agency ANI said: “There are some elements who are hand in glove with militant organisations, and ISI across the border. They are involved in conspiracies too. They are toying with the future of the people, especially the youth, of J&K.”
“There are some elements here who take money from Pakistan and ISI. I have told the officers that the security provided to such people should be reviewed,” he said.
The Home Minister also called for restricted “civilian traffic” on the highways during the movement of the convoys of the security forces.
“Civilian traffic movement will be restricted for some time during movement of army and security forces convoys. This may cause inconvenience and I apologise for this but this is necessary for safety of jawans,” Singh said after heading a high-level security review meeting.
At least 49 Central Reserve Police Force personnel lost their lives in Pulwama attack in which a convoy of 78 vehicles of the force was targeted. Militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed the responsibility for the attack and released a video of the suspected attacker, which it identified as a local youth.

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Lead Stories

Militants committed biggest mistake, forces have full freedom now: PM

The Kashmir Monitor



New Delhi, Feb 15: A day after at least 49 CRPF troopers were killed in a major suicide attack in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the militants have committed their “biggest mistake” and those responsible have to pay.
“We have given complete freedom to the security forces of the country. We have full faith in their bravery and valour,” Modi said while addressing a programme to flag-off the first indigenous Train 18, renamed as Vande Bharat Express at the New Delhi Railway Station.
Addressing the militant groups, the Prime Minister said: “Even those who are giving them shelters are responsible and have committed their worst mistake. They have to pay a very big price.”
Modi also assured the nation that “those powers who are behind the attack will be punished for their deeds”.
Hitting out at Pakistan, without naming it, “Our neighbouring country has already been sidelined by the international community; despite that if it feels it can create problem for India by creating instability, it’s their mistake.”
His remarks came minutes after the Cabinet Committee on Security that decided to withdraw the “Most Favoured Nation” status given to Pakistan.
He then inspected the engine-less Train 18 that has been renamed Vande Bharat Express and flagged it off at 11.20 a.m.
Train 18, the country’s first engine-less train manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai, left from New Delhi railway station at 10 a.m. for Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of Modi. (IANS)

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