HC Closes Issue Post-Lockdown Public Response

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Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High Court has closed issue regarding desirable public response after removal of covid-19 lockdown, observing that the matter was still under active consideration and directions are awaited from the Government of India.
Hearing a batch of public interest litigations via virtual mode, a division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rajnesh Oswal ordered the closure of the issue after a status report filed by Atal Dulloo, Financial Commissioner, Health & Medical Education Department.
He informed the court that the directions on all issues of COVID-19 are issued by Ministry of Home, GoI, which have been complied with by the J&K Government.
He submitted that the matter was still under active consideration and directions are awaited from the GoI.
“In view of the fact that the (J&K) Government is aware of the importance of this issue and has assured this Court in the report filed that all necessary steps as are required, would be taken and guidelines which would be formulated as directed by the Ministry of Home Affairs would be given full publicity, no further intervention by this Court is required in the matter,” the court said.
Regarding issue of pollens from Russian poplars, Amit Gupta, Additional Advocate General, informed the court that the General Administration Department has taken a view on the report submitted by the
Expert Committee and the same stands forwarded to the Department of Law and the Forest Department for compliance.
The committee, to examine all aspects relating to the Russian Poplar trees including the impact of the pollen and fluff from these trees on the spread of the novel coronavirus, had submitted its report earlier this month.
“Neither report of Expert Committee nor the decision taken thereon has been placed before us,” the court said and directed that same be done before next date of hearing on June 3.
Meanwhile, the division bench termed the issue regarding operationalising e-connectivity of the Courts as extremely serious matter as their functioning was completely dependent on the same amid COVID-19 pandemic and directed the BSNL to ensure that all issues are resolved and file an Action Taken Report.
“As noticed earlier, 84 court locations for e-connectivity stand identified. This matter has been unnecessarily languishing for years and there are more courts in the J&K as well as Ladakh which are without e-connectivity than those which have been provided the same,” the court said, adding, “a status report filed by Shahzad Azim, Registrar (IT) (confirms) that only in 30 court complexes, e-connectivity has been made fully operational/working, that too pursuant to our orders in the present matter.”
The court also termed as “heartening” the “extensive” steps taken by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation to address the difficulties of stray animals including cattle.


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