Non establishment of Dehi Adalats


The State High Court has expressed its serious concern over lackadaisical approach of Government over establishment of village courts (Dehi Adalats) in the State. The Division Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Sanjeev Kumar heavily came down on State Government through its counsel who despite various opportunities failed to submit the response to the PIL seeking establishment of village Court in the State. Few days back Chief Justice during the hearing of the PIL observed to State counsel "it is very unfortunate that despite the legislation in place Government has failed to establish DehiAdaalats in the State and repeated directions passed by the Court, the Government is seeking only time after time to inform the court as to what steps so far has been taken to implement the Jammu and Kashmir DehiAdalats Act, 2013." Court observed to State Counsel that such a critical issue has been shelved by the Government despite repeated directions by the Court which is very unfair, unreasonable and irresponsible act on part of the Government. Court after great persuasion by State counsel granted further time to Government for response with warning that in case response is not filed, court will proceed ahead with appropriate orders.
J&K Legislature has passed legislation in year 2013 known as "The Jammu and Kashmir DehiAdalats Act, 2013" for establishing village courts at grass root level but after passing of four years nothing on ground has been done. Purpose of establishing DehiAdalats is to provide access to Justice to the citizens at their doorsteps and also for ensuring that Justice cannot be denied to any citizen by reason of social, economic or other disabilities as enshrined in the Preamble and under Article 39(A) and 14 of the Constitution. The Petitioner-counsel informed the Court that DehiAdalat Act, 2013 has been published in Government Gazette on 24th October 2013, and has come into force on 03-09-2014 by virtue of SRO 274 of 2014. To the unfortunate affairs and the inaction of the state authorities near about four years have passed since coming into force of the said Act, till date the respondents have failed to implement the said Act.

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