The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Monday launched its legal outreach programme, Insaf Ki Dastak, that aims at providing access to justice to people who live in far-flung and inaccessible areas of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. The program was inaugurated by Chief Justice, High Court of Jammu and Kashmir, Justice Gita Mittal.
Chief Justice Mittal, in her address, stated that there are several areas in both the Union Territories which face extreme and sudden changes in the weather, remain cut-off and inaccessible for months due to their topography, leaving people living in those areas unable to approach the courts for redressal of their grievances, thereby depriving them of their legal rights.
According to the Chief Justice, the programme aims at better coordination between the courts, the post offices, Common Services Centres and the Legal Services Authorities to make sure that legal rights of people are not taken away from them and justice is delivered at people’s doorstep. To make this programme successful, para legal volunteers, the post masters, their subsidiary staff have been imparted training on how to maintain register of filed cases and applications with details of court fees and exemption, if any. These volunteers have also been given basic knowledge of laws and Government schemes for drafting petitions and applications.
The project was envisioned by Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rajesh Bindal, Executive Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir’s State Legal Service Authority, to ensure that no person is deprived of their Constitutional rights enshrined in Article 39-A of the Constitution of India. Article 39-A provides that State should secure that the operation of legal system promotes justice, on the basis of equal opportunity and ensure that the opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of any disability.
Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey also spoke on the occasion and appreciated the thought behind the programme and thanked Chief Justice for bringing such an initiative.
The function was live streamed on YouTube, and was attended by Judges of the High Court, Registrar General, officers of the High Court Registry, Secretary of Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs J&K Government, among others. A short film was also released along with a theme song on Insaf Ki Dastak and videos showing filing of a case in Common Service. A YouTube Channel for the High Court was also launched and messages of important personalities of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh were displayed during the function.