Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Monday expressed concern over claims that people in Jammu and Kashmir were not being able to approach the High Court. The Chief Justice termed the claims as “a very serious issue”, saying he would personally talk to the Chief Justice of the J&K High Court.
The bench headed by the CJI directed the Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court to submit a report on whether the court was accessible to litigants or not.
The remarks were made by the CJI while hearing a petition concerning juvenile inmates lodged in jails in Jammu and Kashmir. The plea filed by child rights activist Enakshi Ganguly sought that cases concerning such inmates be handled by a High Court Committee.
While hearing the plea, the top court initially asked the lawyer of the activist to approach the High Court. Following which, senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi alleged that it was difficult for the litigants to approach the High Court.
The bench headed by CJI Gogoi took serious note of the claim that people were unable to approach the High Court and said that before considering the petition, it would confirm if people were being denied access to the High Court in any way. The Court said that if this is found to be false, serious consequences shall entail.
Hearing another plea filed by former J&K chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Supreme Court allowed the senior Congress leader to travel to the region. Azad has been allowed by the court to visit Srinagar, Anantnag, Baramulla and Jammu.
In his plea submitted before the Supreme Court, the Congress leader had assured that he had no intention to indulge in any political engagement during his visit to Jammu and Kashmir, which has been under an unprecedented security cover since the abrogation of Article 370 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government.
Taking cognisance of Azad’s assurance of not getting into political activities during his visit, the apex court allowed him to visit Jammu and Kashmir and meet people.
While hearing the case, the court urged the J&K administration to ensure return of normalcy in the region, taking into account the factors related to national security.