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Meghalaya HC hears on separation of judiciary

A CORRESPONDENT

SHILLONG, Feb 21:  The Meghalaya High Court today heard the matter on separation of the judiciary in the state.

The High Court during the last hearing on February 14 had observed that little progress has been made in developing infrastructure for the same.

In its order on Tuesday, the High Court has said that additiol affidavit were filed on February 20 by the Secretary, Law department, which indicates that after the High Court had expressed dissatisfaction over the progress on the matter relating to judiciary during the last hearing, all the concerned officers in the Government have attended on the issues seriously and have cleared several of the pending matters with them.

The High Court also said that the writ petition was initially entertained on August 16, 2014 when the State Legal Services Authority brought to the fore the issues relating to Under Trial Prisoners (‘UTPs’) in East Jaintia Hills district where the Court found that omission on the part of the concerned authorities was directly offending Article 21 of the Constitution of India, particularly when several persons were languishing in jail without remand orders.

The Member Secretary, Meghalaya State Legal Services Authority informed the Court that the UTPs Review Committees are regularly monitoring the matter on quarterly basis and are submitting their reports to the State Legal Services Authority.

“It would be expected that the State Legal Services Authority will place on record the latest reports relating to UTPs in the entire State while indicating the areas of shortcomings, whatever, on the part of the Government,” the High Court said.

The Court also stated that an essentially co-related issue had been of proper prosecution wing of the state and requirements on the part of the Government to take effective measures for streamlining the prosecution, including setting up of Directorate of Prosecution and engagement of proficient prosecutors.

The Court pointed out that it was earlier indicated in this matter that the Government had taken up the process of establishment of Directorate of Prosecution.

The High Court also pointed out that along with this, it would also be required on the part of the Government to state, by way of further affidavit, the progress made on the aspects relating to infrastructure for the judiciary in the districts where separation has taken place.