April 2002 News

J&K Govt asked to provide ''Z'' security to HC judges

18 April 2002
The Indian Express

Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed the state government to place all High Court judges in ''Z'' security category and to implement the order within a month. The direction was given on Wednesday by a division bench, comprising acting Chief Justice V K Jhanji and Justice B L Bhat, while disposing off a public interest litigation filed by one Jatinder Singh Jamwal. The bench observed the PIL had been pending since 1998 and on several occasions the Advocate General had submitted that the state government was considering providing ''Z'' security to judges of the High Court. The bench said while going through the committee''s report it was found that the judges in Kashmir valley were placed in ''Z'' category whereas judges in Jammu in ''Y'' category. The Chief Justice was placed in ''Z'' category. The bench said there was absolutely no justification for placing the judges in ''Y'' category in view of identical threat perception to them in both Kashmir and Jammu. ''The bench is persuaded to pass this order taking into consideration the recent happenings in and around Jammu city where a number of people have lost their lives,'' it said. ''In the facts and circumstances of this case, the court is left with no option but to direct the state government to place all the judges of he state High Court in Z category as has been done in case of the Chief Justice. This order be complied within one month,'' the bench said. The court took note of criticism of the state government by Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on the misuse of security- related expenditure for carrying out repair works at houses of ministers, senior government officers, journalists and legislators. It directed the state to place on record the CAG report pertaining to security-related expenditure.


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