The High Court has asked jail Superintendents to address immediately prisoners' problems that have been pointed out by Principal District and Sessions Judges in the reports they filed after visiting various jails.
Hearing two Public Interest Litigations—one by courts own motion and the other by BarAssociation Kashmir—a division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and JusticeTashi Rabstan asked its RegistrarJudicial to send copies of the reportsto the Superintendents of jails.
The court also ordered that copies of the reports should bemade available to amicus curiae G R Tantray, Bar president M A Qayoom, senioradvocate RA Jan and state's Senior Additional AdvocateGeneral BA Dar for examination.
Observing that out of the 22 districts, reports werereceived from only five, the court directed Sessions Judges of all districts tostrictly comply with the orders passed by it. "A serious view will be taken incase the reports are not filed in terms of the directions already passed," thecourt said.
The judges of only Srinagar, Ganderbal, Rajouri, Anantnagand Pulwama districts have filed the reports so far in the High Court.
With regard to the report by PDSJ Srinagar AR Malik, relatedto eight cases pending in courts, which require immediate courts attention, thebench ordered Secretaries of District Legal Services Authorities of Srinagar,Baramulla, Kulgam and Bandipora to look into the cases and bring the issues tothe attention of the trial courts concerned.
"In case legal aid is required by any of the under-trialprisoners, the same shall be ensured by the Secretary, District Legal ServicesAuthority concerned," the court said.
After state counsel BA Dar told the court that the jailmanual is being finalized and formal approval has to be accorded by the StateAdministrative Council, the court granted him four weeks time to complete thefinalization and place its outcome before the court on the next date.
With regard to two reports—one about the incident whichoccurred at Central Jail Srinagar on April 15 in which two inmates were injuredin overnight clashes after some prisoners objected to their shifting from oldbarracks to the new ones, and the other filed by Director General Prisons withregard to the conditions of jails in J&K, the court said the copies ofreports be provided to counsels appearing in the matter for examination whoshall make submissions on the next date of hearing.