SRINAGAR: As the prosecution has been put separated from the police, Jammu and Kashmir’s new prosecution department will have to manage a pendency of over one lakh cases, reports appearing in the media said. The prosecution offices are likely to operate from the respective Deputy Commissioner’s office instead of from the district police chief’s office.
“Ideally, we would like to have public prosecutors in each district to work with the courts. The rules are yet to be formed,” Syed Afadul Mujtaba, the Director-General of the Prosecution Department was quoted saying by the Indian Express. “I think it is likely that the pendency, which is at over a 99,000 for 2018 and close to that number for 2019 as well, should go down with the new wing coming into place.” Srinagar alone has almost 15000 cases pending.
The new department will take its time to evolve as the spadework has started.
Under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act that bifurcated the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories, the prosecution powers were withdrawn from the Jammu and Kashmir Police and given to a new organisation. Earlier, the public prosecutors operated alongside the police and helped sleuths in legal advice, vetting of charge-sheets and documents ahead of their submission before the courts. The newspaper said the wing was managed by around 250 public prosecutors.
The newspaper said that around 12 deputy directors are being appointed to assist the Director General, six each from Kashmir and Jammu. “In Kashmir, the deputy director will operate from Anantnag, Budgam, Kupwara, Baramulla, Ganderbal, Srinagar; and in Jammu, they will operate from Jammu, Kathua, Poonch, Ramban, Udhampur and Doda,” the newspaper reported. “Some districts have been clubbed with others owing to unavailability of Chief Prosecution Officers, based on case load. Like in the case of Anantnag, the Deputy Director will look after cases in three districts — Anantnag, Kulgam and Shopian.”
Besides, the newspaper said that the state administration is also considering hiring retired prosecutors to assist with the large pendency of trials.