The Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association’s Executive Committee, in a letter to the Chief Justice of India, has informed that since scrapping of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in August last year, ninety-nine percent of the habeas corpus petitions filed with the Jammu and Kashmir High Court have remained pending.
“…..ninety-nine percent of the habeas corpus petitions filed with the Jammu and Kashmir High Court have remained pending.”
In its letter written on June 25, J&K HC Bar Association also noted that after August 5, 2019, nearly 13000 persons from Kashmir Valley were arrested u/s 107/151 of J&K Criminal Procedure Code and after few days or weeks hundreds were booked under the PSA and are lodged in various jails of India.
The letter also referred to habeas corpus case of the President of the Bar Association Mian Abdul Qayoom, whose petition was decided nearly in 9 months. The matter is currently pending in the Supreme Court.
“The first problem which the lawyers who conduct these cases is that no direction has been given by Hon’ble The Chief Justice, asking the Registrar Judicial to list these HCPs before every Judge irrespective of their daily roster, so that the petitions are decided within 14 days as per the Rules formulated by the Hon’ble High Court with regard to the HCPs”, the letter said.
The letter also stated that the Chief Justice of High Court of Union Territory of J&K had met the members of the Executive Committee of the J&K High Court Bar Association, Srinagar a week before the lockdown. The committee brought into the notice of the Chief Justice, the problems of the members of the J&K High Court Bar Association were facing, but till date, no concrete steps were taken by her for resolving said problems.
The Executive Committee also highlighted the problem faced by the lawyers due to restrictions on internet speed.
“Because of restrictions of operation of 4G in J&K, it is very difficult to argue the matters through virtual mode, though, an option is given to the counsel to appear before the Court. The lawyers whose cases are listed are allowed to enter the court premises but their clerks and juniors are not allowed disabling the lawyers to assist the courts properly”, the letter said.
The Executive Committee members of the J&K High Court Bar Association have sought a meeting with the CJI, so that the Executive Committee members can project the problems in its right perspective.