Chief Justice introduces major reforms in judiciary

Chief Justice introduces major reforms in judiciary

13 August 2012
The Daily Excelsior
Neeraj Rohmetra

Jammu: Chief Justice of State High Court, Justice M M Kumar has initiated a series of reforms aimed at streamlining the functioning of judiciary and reducing the pendency of cases in the State. Further, for the first time in the history of State the crucial appointments of nine new District and Session Judges has been made after due consultation through video conferencing between the Senior Judges at the Srinagar and Jammu wings of the High Court. Reliable sources stated that ever since his taking over as Chief Justice on June 8 this year, Justice M M Kumar had been holding wide consultation with Senior Judges to further streamline the functioning of the judiciary. 'Several steps have already been taken in this direction and a multi-pronged strategy is being followed to ensure that pendency of cases also goes down further'. Dwelling further on the steps initiated by Justice Kumar, sources stated that Chief Justice has introduced some changes in the roster in a bid to streamline the administration and ensure quick disposal of cases at the High Court. 'It has been decided that High Court Judges would be assigned a particular wing of the Court for a month at least. This wasn't the case earlier as Judges were being assigned a particular wing for nearly 15 days. With the new decision, the cases pertaining to that wing would get more focus and there is more likelihood of those cases being decided in shorter span of time', sources said. Another major initiative of the judiciary is that Division Bench has been made a regular feature of the High Court, which wasn't the case earlier. 'It is the objective to make sure that most of the Letters Patent Appeals (LPA), which are being handled by Division Bench are cleared by the month of October', sources said adding, 'we want to get rid of the cases pending since past several years'. In Kashmir, presently the Chief Justice M M Kumar is personally sitting on daily basis to make sure early disposal of cases. With the result, nearly 10 cases are being decided on daily basis and the idea is to provide relief to the litigants. Further, all the Judges are fully cooperating with the Chief Justice and ensuring faster disposal of cases on daily basis. 'These reforms have also saved the money of the State exchequer since otherwise there was lot of cost involved in traveling of the officials between the twin capitals', sources said. Another interesting judicial reform is the holding of full Court meeting of HC Judges through video conferencing, which hasn't happened earlier in the history of the State. Recently, the Judges had held meeting through video conferencing on August 9 to finalise the transfer and posting of Judges, including those of the lower judiciary. The Full Court meeting were held again on Saturday last, wherein the name of Advocates to be appointed as new District and Session Judges were decided. 'The advantage of video conferencing was that major decisions could be taken after due consultation with Judges located at the two capital cities', sources said. The Judges held discussion over several names of Advocates, who had at least seven years of practice and were aged between 35-40 years. 'After several rounds of discussion, the Full Court came over the conclusion of these seven candidates', sources added. Nine advocates, who had been selected for appointment as District & Session Judge are Mohd Altaf Khan, Haq Nawaz Zargar, Tahir Khurshid Raina, Shazia Tabsum, Tasleem Arief, Sonia Gupta, Rajinder Sapru, Naseer Ahmed Dar and Pawan Kumar Kundal.