CJ directs PDJs to designate SOs to the post
Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Thursday directed all Principal District Judges of the State to designate Section Officer of their respective courts as a Nodal Officer to attend to the queries of witness experts/doctors.
The direction came after the court observed that the witness experts/doctors at many times face difficulty in attending court hearing due to medical emergencies or unavailability of Judicial officers.
Chief Justice (CJ) directed that Judicial branch of each court in the district shall early morning inform/update the Nodal officer regarding the leave position and availability of Judicial officers.
CJ also directed that mobile number and e-mail ID of the designated Nodal Officer shall be mentioned on all summons to expert witnesses.
“All these particulars shall be conveyed to the hospitals/ FSL and HODs of concerned departments,” the order stated.
CJ directed that all Principal District Judges shall prescribe a mechanism for maintaining records/registers of receipts of calls from the expert witnesses and onward communication of the same to the concerned court. It was further directed that all the Principal District Judges shall submit compliance report of these directions to the Chief Justice’s Secretariat within two weeks.
The order was passed in view of that during training of doctors from various government hospitals of the state with regard to the conduct of the medical examination and recording of MLCs (Medico Legal Cases) conducted under the aegis of ‘Committee to implement guidelines laid down by Judicial Precedents and law in cases involving sexual violence and monitoring the trial of such cases and committee to govern the affairs of the State Judicial Academy’, it was revealed that, at times doctors when summoned as witnesses face difficulty in view of exigencies that is due to some medical emergency regarding attending to the patients, they are unable to attend court hearings. “As a result of their absence, adverse orders are passed against them. It has also transpired that sometimes expert witnesses/doctors on reaching the court come to know concerned that judicial officer is not available. This not only causes grave inconvenience to the expert witness but also results in wastage of valuable professional time which is detrimental to the patients visiting them,” the order of CJ reads. It also said that same may be the experience of other experts summoned to testify before courts.