Srinagar, November 26 The High Court Bar Association (HCBA) of Kashmir has said that undertrials lodged in the Kishtwar District Jail are being subjected to endless tyranny of the legal process without any fault of theirs.
In pursuance of the orders of the High court of the territory, a four-member team of lawyers comprising advocates Mian Abdul Qayoom, Mufti Mehraj-ud-din, Manzoor Ahmad Dar and Sajjad Bashir, had visited the District jail, located at a hillock three kilometres away from the main town on November 16.
The team, according to the report released by the lawyers’ body in Srinagar, met most of the 126 prisoners lodged in the jail. As per report, 85 prisoners are ordinary under-trial and 41 are detained on various charges.
Regarding team’s interaction with ordinary undertrial prisoners, all residents of Kishtwar, the team said, “They all stated that they were picked up on the day of Eid (August 9) or thereafter along with thirty other persons and they are in jail since then. They said that all of them are innocent and have been falsely implicated in the case.”
The undertrials said that they had filed bail applications before Sessions Judge, Kishtwar, “who is not passing any order in those applications despite the fact that more than two months have passed.” The team said that many of the detainees were shopkeepers or employees, who have lost their businesses or jobs due to detention.
“All of them have been subjected to the tyranny of the legal process which is going on endlessly without any fault of theirs. In some cases, judges have heard arguments but have not passed judgments for years together. In other cases witnesses are called but they are not turning up and the court is not taking any action against them. The jail authorities are also not producing these accused persons regularly before the courts on the dates of hearing for one reason of the other, as a result of which the trial drags on”.
The report is being placed before the High Court for passing appropriate orders, the lawyers body added.