Orders issued on empowering Additional District Judges: Govt to HC

Greater Kashmir

Hearing of corruption cases

Srinagar, Aug 21: The government on Wednesday informed the Jammu and Kashmir High Court that it has issued orders with regard to empowering Additional District judges in various districts to hear the corruption cases.
Senior Additional Advocate General J A Kawoosa stated at Bar before a division bench comprising Justices Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Muzaffar Hussain that he would produce a copy of the order before the next date of hearing on Aug 29.
Kawoosa stated at the Bar that the government has issued the requisite orders in compliance to the directions passed by the court and sought a week’s time.
“Senior AGG J A Kawoosa informed the court that all the Additional Session Judges have been given powers to try cases of corruption as was desired by the Court so that trial is not confined to two special courts which was one of the causes of delays in the graft cases,” Senior Counsel and Amicus Curiae B A Bashir told Greater Kashmir.
On July 4, the High Court had directed the State Vigilance Commission to submit its report on recommendations for amending the JK prevention of Corruption Act to the Chief Secretary within a week.
 The court had also asked the Chief Secretary to submit status report in respect of steps taken for amending the Act by or before next date of hearing.
It had also directed the State government to delineate as to how it has responded to the suggestions of the Vigilance Organization for creation of two Special Courts for trying the offences under the provisions of the Act, one each at Srinagar and Jammu.  The Court asked the Chief Secretary to state as to how the State Government has dealt with the recommendations of the High Court made on administrative side for creation of two Mobile Courts for trying the offences under the Act of 2006.
 Amicus Curiae Bashir Ahmad Bashir in open court made certain suggestions in respect of making amendments in the Act which include as to why the maximum punishment under the Prevention of corruption Act should not be 20 years and the minimum seven years.  It was also suggested that in case after receipt of report/record from Vigilance Organization, if competent authority does not accord sanction for prosecution within a period of one month, it should be deemed to have been granted.
 It was also suggested that more trained investigating officers should be posted/appointed in Vigilance Organization and time limit should be prescribed for concluding the investigation. It was suggested that Amendment should be made in the prevention of Corruption Act, which would ensure that once the charge is framed, the trial shall continue on day-today basis till its conclusion.