A plea has been filed before the Kerala High Court highlighting the plight of judicial administration in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep.
The Petitioner, Noorul Hidaya, a practising Advocate in the UT, has pointed out several discrepancies relating to appointment of Government counsels, establishment of sufficient Courts and lack of practice Rules at the Courts situated therein.
Firstly, the Petitioner has highlighted inconsistencies and incongruity associated with the appointment to the posts of Public Prosecutors/Government Pleaders, Additional Public Prosecutors and Assistant Public Prosecutors in the local Courts.
It is stated that appointments to these posts are carried out by the competent authorities in violation of the stipulations under Section 24 and 25 of the CrPC.
Citing certain instances the Petitioner has submitted:
- In the District and Sessions Court, Kavaratti, where the requirement is satisfied with the services rendered by a public prosecutor/government pleader, in absolute contrast to the same, there is a public prosecutor/Government pleader as well as an additional public prosecutor/additional government pleader appointed.
- In the Assistant Sessions Court/Chief Judicial Magistrate Court/ Sub- Court of Lakshadweep at Amini Island, however where an additional public prosecutor/ additional government pleader is required to be appointed for the effective conduct of cases, the above said posts are remaining vacant, despite notification to the said posts being notified for a long time.
- In the Munsiff and Magistrat Court at Andrott Island, where an Assistant Public Prosecutor/ Additional Government Pleader is required to be appointed for the effective conduct of cases, the above said posts are remaining vacant, despite notification to the said posts being notified for a long time.
- In Assistant Sessions Court, Amini, no appointment of Public Prosecutor/Additional Public Prosecutor has been made out till date Therefore no Sessions cases have been conductedin proper manner.
Due to said irregular and arbitrary appointments it is submitted,
“the Justice Dispensation mechanism in the Union Territory is in shambles, thereby causing irreparable loss and prejudice to the general public and litigants in Lakshadweep as a whole. The said situation, if allowed to continue, will thus lead to the loss of faith in the Judicial system in place among the general public residing across the above said islands that constitute the Union Territory.“
Non-establishment of Family Courts and Permanent Lok Adalats at any of the areas falling under the UT
“Despite the Family Courts Act extending to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir, which thus makes the said Act applicable to the said Union Territory and even though the said Act provides for the establishment of Family Courts, the Administrator of the above said Union Territory like lakshadweep has not taken any steps so far to establish a family court in any of the areas falling under the said Union Territory,” the plea states.
Further the Petitioner has submitted that Section 22B of the Legal Services Authority Act, 1987 provides for the establishment of a Permanent Lok Adalats. However the UT administration has failed to comply with the same.
Non-formulation of Rules of Practice, pertaining to both the civil and criminal areas of practice and proceedings, for the UT
The Petitioner has prayed before the High Court to direct the Registrar General of the High Court to consider the feasibility of formulating/framing appropriate Civil and Criminal Rules of Practice and Proceedings applicable to the civil and criminal courts situated in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep.
“Even though this Hon’ble Court has formulated the Kerala Civil and Criminal Rules of Practice respectively, it is noteworthy that the same rules are applicable only for the State of Kerala and thus not to be extended to the union territory of Lakshadweep,” the plea clarifies.
Lastly the Petitioner has sought a direction upon the competent authority to conduct constant and periodic audits to keep in check the functioning of the Judicial systems/ Administrative establishments in Lakshadweep and to consequently submit reports regarding the same to the High Court.