Srinagar: Justice Pankaj Mithal, Chief Justice Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court on Wednesday accused the JK administration of delaying the cases saying it keeps “allocating the files to different counsels from time to time…”
As per the Chief Justice, such change in allocation renders the counsel appearing earlier to assist the Court, and because of the same, the “new counsel doesn’t appear because his name is not printed in the cause list”.
The observations came after a matter related to the compassionate appointment was called up for hearing and the Additional Advocate General- who was earlier appearing in the case- informed the court that the matter has been assigned to another counsel and he isn’t possessed with the file.
Chief Justice said: ” It is very pathetic to note that the Government keeps allocating the files to different counsel from time to time…”
One hearing is wasted in the process of figuring out who the matter is allotted to and on the next date, the allocation again changes as a result “the matter is never taken up, considered and decided,” the CJ observed.
It is the responsibility of the Advocate General to ensure someone attends the case on behalf of the administration without seeking adjournment on the ground of allocation of the file to different counsel.
The Court said that its repeated requests to the Advocate General to revisit the system of allocation have brought no results.
Attributing delay in disposal of cases to the administration, the Chief Justice said: “The Government is responsible for such delay in disposal of cases and for wasting the time of the Court.”
Chief Justice also directed Law Secretary and the Advocate General “to come out with a better system of case allocation” so that the need for an adjournment for allocation reasons doesn’t arise.
Pertinently, the Department of Law Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, on 19th May, issued a notification allocating departments amongst Law Officers.
The best way to resolve this problem is, Chief Justice suggested, “the Law Secretary/Advocate General should assign one Court to each Government counsel and whatever cases of the Government are listed before a particular court irrespective of departments concern be allowed to be handled by him (Govt counsel) so that he may not have to run from one
Court to another….”.