Jammu, Feb 20 (IANS) The Jammu and Kashmir government Thursday said that five high court judges were appointed last year and four more vacancies are likely to be filled up to reduce pendency of cases in the courts.
Replying to the demands of grants for the law and parliamentary affairs department in the assembly, Law Minister Mir Saifullah said: "Speedy justice is the fundamental right of every citizen. Several initiatives have been taken in this direction to provide justice to the people at their doorstep by strengthening the network of courts across the state.
"To reduce the pendency of cases in the high court and subordinate courts, the government has appointed five high court judges during the last year and four more vacancies of judges are likely to be filled up soon.
"Seven district and sessions judges and 38 munsifs were also appointed last year by the government.
"As many as 12 vacancies of munsifs have been referred to the public service commission to further strengthen the courts.
"Besides, 36 courts including 14 sub-judges and 22 munsifs and two courts of additional district and sessions judges have been established in different areas of the state."
Maintaining that some laws have become obsolete and need to be deleted or replaced, the minister said that to deal with this important issue, the government has set up a committee headed by the advocate general.
"The state is also contemplating to establish a law commission to bring transparency and reforms in the judicial system," he said.
In order to ensure speedy justice to the people in rural and far-flung areas, he said 22 "Dehi (rural) Adalats" at the block level across the state would be established.
The Jammu and Kashmir Dehi Adalat Act, 2013 has been passed by the state legislature and the state high court has been asked to identify such blocks where these courts will be established, said the minister.
"To clear the pendency of cases in various courts, the government will establish 8 fast track courts of the rank of district and sessions judges and ten fast track courts of the rank of civil judges.
"Government has already designated some courts as fast track courts... these include those in districts of Anantnag, Baramulla, Jammu, Kulgam, Kupwara, Pulwama, Rajouri and Srinagar.
"With a view to further strengthen the legal system in the state, the government will create some more positions of additional advocate generals and government advocates for each wing of the high court," Saifullah said.