Jammu and Kashmir High Court today ordered that all the courts in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh shall treat cases of domestic abuse as urgent and proceed with the matters in accordance with the circulars issued regarding social distancing.
Taking suo moto notice of negative impact of lockdownimposed due to COVID-19 pandemic on women and girls, a Coram consisting ofChief Justice Geeta Mittal and Justice Rajnesh Oswal today heard the case fromtheir respective residences through video conferencing.
The Court highlighted that globally it has been observedthat the adverse social and economic consequences of the pandemic for women andgirls are devastating.
The High Court issued notices to the Secretary, Departmentof Social Welfare, Governments of Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir andLadakh and Member Secretary, JKSLSA to submit a report with regard to the stepstaken regarding domestic or any other kind of violence being faced by women onaccount of the implementation of the COVID-19 lockdown. The Court directedconcerned officials to examine several remedial measures taken by variouscountries in this regard and a view be taken with regard to the requirementsand steps to be taken to mitigate the sufferings of the victims of domesticviolence in the twin Union Territories.
The Court directed that a report of the measures in place,steps underway and those contemplated be placed before it before the next date.
Furthermore, Secretary, Jammu and Kashmir Legal ServicesAuthority have been directed to call for list of all cases involving cases ofdomestic violence which are pending as complaints with the police stations inthe Union Territories or in the courts and ascertain the safety and well-beingof the complainants. The Secretaries of the Jammu and Kashmir Legal Services Authoritiesmay seek the assistance of police and para legal volunteers in this regard, thecourt observed.