Speedy justice in terror cases. President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Srinagar, July 29
Stressing on speeding up the judicial process in Jammu and Kashmir, President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam today said the terrorism-related cases should be dealt with on priority and “without sacrificing” the principles of natural justice. He also stressed the need to provide compulsory NCC training to all students in schools and colleges.
He was speaking on the occasion diamond jubilee celebrations of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court the at Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Complex on the bank of Dal Lake here.
“The judiciary must consider creating a fast judicial process for settling terrorism-related cases. It can find a method by which cases pertaining to terrorism are dealt with on a priority and not allowed to drag on through multiple adjournments and appeals,” he said.
He said a system needed to be designed to resolve the issue “fast without sacrificing the principle of natural justice”. Fast action was also needed to rehabilitate the militancy-affected and those keen to join the mainstream, he said.
He said the protection of human rights of citizens without prejudice to national interests was an important factor where the judiciary could play a major role as it was the “final resort for dispensation of justice”.
On the target of “zero pendency” of cases set by the state high court, he said it would be the greatest gift to the nation, if achieved.
He appreciated the suggestion of Chief Justice Y.K. Sabharwal for speeding up justice by way of steps like two shifts in the courts and use of information technology.
He also outlined a “peace mission” for speeding up the peace process essential for the development and prosperity of the state.
“The peace mission will have four major components namely, an economic zone near the Line of Control (LoC), social development in difficult areas, a state-level movement to eliminate terrorism and citizen security,” he said.
On social development, he said social, religious and other institutions could start educational and healthcare institutions in the state that could reach trouble spots quickly and provide humanitarian assistance to the affected people as was done during the time of Mahatma Gandhi.
He suggested that the Central and state governments could introduce a minimum two-year compulsory NCC training in colleges and schools to promote discipline among students.
The state government should authorise law enforcement agencies to help free the state from terrorists in a “mission mode approach” and create a conducive environment for return of Kashmiri migrants, he said.
“The police can consider the creation of open police control van patrolling services in small towns and crowded areas. There is also a need to develop highway police, highway tracking and surveillance system, as also the possibility of having helicopter-based surveillance system for early detection of trouble spots and render assistance,” he said.
He said the area close to the LoC was not used for cultivation. The state and Central Governments might consider allotting part of the land on lease basis in consultation with the Army for horticulture and agriculture utilisation.
For the second consecutive day, a strike was observed across the valley in response to the separatists' call against the President's visit. All shops and business establishments were closed and traffic was off the roads. Educational institutions and banks were also closed.
He also unveiled a postage stamp to commemorate the occasion. The function was attended by Chief Justice of Supreme Court Y.K. Sabharwal, Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Justice B.A. Khan and judges of the apex courts of the country.
The Kashmir High Court Bar Association boycotted the golden jubilee celebrations, while other Bars, including the Jammu High Court Bar Association and district, sub-district Bars attended the function.
A curfew like situation prevailed in the Boulvard and Dal Lake area where sharpshooters had been deployed for the past three days to thwart any militant attack during the President’s visit.
Jawans wearing bulletproof
jackets and holding automatic weapon could be seen deployed at every 10
feet on the Boulvard road. Vehicles were not allowed in the area and not
a single “shikara” was seen in the lake.
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