High Court dismisses plea seeking establishment of village courts across J&K

Jammu and Kashmir High court has dismissed Public Interest litigation (PIL) seeking setting up of village courts across Jammu and Kashmir.

A division bench of Chief justice Gita Mittal dismissed the plea after senior advocate RA Jan drew its attention to schedule–V of the Provisions of Jammu and Kashmir Re-organisation Act-2019, whereby the Delhi Adalats Act-2013 has been repealed.

“In view of this, the writ petition does not survive for consideration,” the Court said, dismissing the PIL.

In 2018, 0ne Altaf Hussain Drabu had file the PIL stating that the J&K Legislature had passed legislation, Jammu and Kashmir Dehi Adalats Act-2013, for setting up village courts at the grassroots level. But, the petition pointed out that nothing was done to set up the courts at the village level.

The petitioner had said that the purpose of establishing Dehi Adalats was to provide access to justice to 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 Articles 39(A) and 14 of the Constitution.

The petitioners had further submitted that the government under SRO 275 of 2014 had already issued a notification for setting up of 22 Dehi Adalats in 22 districts of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir, but no process was initiated subsequently to make Dehi Adalats functional.

The petitioner was seeking directions for implementation of the Jammu and Kashmir Dehi Adalats Act by establishing the Dehi Adalats as provided under the Act and making them functional across J&K.