The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday stayed the cabinet decision regarding abolition of 38 Additional Special Mobile Magistrate Courts in the state.
"In the light of the stand taken by the Central Government and the fact that a sum of Rs 172.04 crore has been earmarked for the 14th Finance Commission to the State of Jammu and Kashmir for the judiciary, which is more than Rs 34 crores per year and a sum of around Rs 12.06 crore being earmarked per year on average basis for creation of new Courts and restructuring of the existing Courts, we are of the firm view that the decision taken by the State Government appears to be without taking into consideration the funds provided by the Central Government under the 14th Finance Commission," a division bench of Chief Justice N Paul Vasatha Kumar and Justice Hasnain Massodi held while staying the government Order No. 2414- LD(A) of 2015 dated 19 August, so as to enable the 38 Courts to continue and dispose of the cases until further orders.
The bench also directed the State Government to release the salary of the presiding officers and the staff attached to all the 38 Courts from September onwards.
The court was hearing a suo moto Public Interest Litigation following a report by its Registry that 38 Additional/Special Mobile Magistrates and staff attached to the Courts were not paid salary from March 2015. While abolishing the courts, the cabinet had recently decided to pay the salary of the presiding officers and the staff till August 31.