Free legal aid to needy, alternate dispute resolution in offing



Srinagar, Jan 9: The state government has unveiled several measures to improve the judicial system in Jammu and Kashmir in order to ensure speedy justice to the people. The Department of Law is mulling several pro-people measures that include free legal aid to the needy persons, implementation of state litigation policy, alternate dispute resolution and reducing pendency of cases.
 “It has been found that many people don’t have money to hire lawyers. Free legal aid will help the poor people to get justice,” said Law Minister Ali Muhammad Sagar. “The government is taking some revolutionary steps which are aimed at making justice available at the doorsteps of the people,” Sagar said.
 According to a newsletter issued by the Department of Law on the completion of four years of National Conference-Congress government, Rs 22 crore has been kept for the development of judicial infrastructure. A district court complex is under construction in Srinagar at a cost of Rs 82 crore.
 The booklet states that judicial system without free legal aid is hollow. “The indigent, landless and marginalized people should avail this facility that would be given to them under State Legal Services Authority,” the booklet reads. This service will cover the women belonging to scheduled castes, schedule tribes and other low income groups.
 In another step, the government states that it wanted to see the settlement of disputes through Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) method. “For this, seven ADR centers will be set up in Srinagar, Anantnag (Islamabad), Baramulla, Shopian, Jammu, Kathua and Udhampur. The funds for these centers will be allotted under 13th Finance Commission,” the newsletter states.
 With the number of litigations against the government on rise, the Law Department wants to implement the State Litigation Policy. “Under the policy, the conduct and performance of law officers is regular monitored. If need arises, appropriate measures will be taken to enforce discipline or to dispense with the services of the law officers who fail to protect the State interests,” the booklet reads.
 The Law Department has created 36 courts in the state of which 14 courts are of Special Mobile Magistrates. “The process of appointment of 37 Munsiffs has already been initiated by Public Service Commission,” reads the newsletter.
 The government is also working to increase the number of judges for the district courts. “High Court has also completed the selection process for the posts of district judges in the direct recruitment quota,” the booklet reads.
 It further reads that construction of various Munsiff courts, chambers for judges, lawyers, parking areas are also in the pipeline. “Construction of district court complex Srinagar has been initiated. It will have 59 subordinate courts and four Lok Adalats,” the newsletter states.
 In the achievements list, the Law Department has highlighted the amendments to the Public Safety Act. “Under the Public Safety (Amendment) Act, 2012, a person who has not attained the age of 18 years can’t be detained under the Act. The period of detention in case where a person is detained on threat to public order in first instance shall be three months, and six months in case of person detained in activities which are prejudicial to the security of the State,” the newsletter reads.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 9 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 9 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 10 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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