Chandigarh, October 11, 2018: Justice Krishna Murari, Chief Justice, Punjab and Haryana High Court along with Justice Rajesh Bindal, Chairman, Arrears Committee, had interaction with all the District and Sessions Judges in the State of Punjab and State of Haryana and U. T. Chandigarh on Wednesday.
The interaction was held through video-conferencing to review the disposal of old cases, especially cases relating to crime against women, under the Prevention of Corruption Act, Negotiable Instruments Act, senior citizens, punctuality and discipline being on top priority, and in continuation of the interaction held with all the District & Sessions Judges in the States of Punjab & Haryana and U.T., Chandigarh on August 19, 2018.
The Chief Justice impressed upon all the judicial officers to maintain punctuality and remain present in the court during the court hours.
The officers were asked to discharge their duty responsibly and take leave only when it is absolutely necessary. They should not consider this as a matter of right to exhaust their entitlement by the end of the year. Pre-fixing or suffixing leave to make it a spell needs to be discouraged. They were specifically told that during working days, no officer will be allowed leave to avail LTC or ex-India leave, except in the case of urgency.
He also asked all the District & Sessions Judges to lead from the front, take complete charge of their districts, monitor the working of the officers working under them and regularly report progress to the High Court. They were also asked to sensitise all the officers working under them to be polite and courteous.
All the officers have been directed to carry out physical verification of the cases pending in their courts so as to ensure that there is no discrepancy in the data uploaded on National Judicial Data Grid and the cases actually pending. Stress was also laid on timely uploading of orders/judgments on CIS and also to ensure correct entry. For day to day monitoring of cases, a format is being circulated to all the officers to send reports to the High Court on daily basis about the work done by each court.
They were also reminded of the judgement of the Supreme Court in Asian Resurfacing of Road Agency Pvt. Ltd. and another v. Central Bureau of Investigation, which laid down that in all pending cases where proceedings in any civil or criminal trial were stayed, the same shall come to an end on expiry of six months from the date of judgement, i.e., 28.3.2018, unless extended by a speaking order. In future as well, any interim stay granted shall automatically vacate after expiry of six months, unless extended by a speaking order.
Trial in number of criminal trials is delayed because of non-appearance of official witnesses, especially the Investigating Officers. All the District & Sessions Judges were asked to discuss the problems in monthly meeting with the officers and thereafter take up the matters with Deputy Commissioner and Commissioner of Police/Superintendent of Police in monthly meeting of District Level Monitoring Committee so that trial of the case is not delayed on account of non-appearance of witnesses. They were also asked not to unnecessarily adjourn cross-examination of the witnesses.
The meeting concluded with the remarks of the Hon’ble Chief Justice that as a judicial family, our motto should be to ensure timely and quality justice to the litigants.