Parliament Watch: 2,156 Habeas Corpus Petitions Filed in Jammu & Kashmir Since Article 370 Abrogation

J& K habeas corpus petition - Law Insider

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Published on: 5 August 2023 at 16:30 IST

During the 2023 Monsoon Session, the Union Law Ministry addressed several questions raised in the Lok Sabha, shedding light on crucial issues.

Among the topics discussed were the number of habeas corpus petitions filed in Jammu & Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370, the pending cases spanning over 50 years across all courts, and the available seats in law schools across the country.

In response to a query by Anantnag Lok Sabha MP Hasnain Masoodi, the Law Ministry disclosed that since the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019, a total of 2,156 habeas corpus petitions were filed in the Jammu & Kashmir High Court and the Supreme Court until June 2023.

Masoodi also inquired about the potential delay in disposing of habeas corpus petitions challenging detention orders under the Public Safety Act, 1978, in J&K.

The Ministry clarified that the Government and Detaining Authorities ensured timely production of records and the presence of Counsels during hearings to expedite the disposal of such petitions by the courts.

Regarding the availability of seats in law schools, Machhlishahr Lok Sabha MP BP Saroj asked for details.

According to data from the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE), there are a total of 3,09,656 seats across various law schools in the country.

Among these, 71,140 seats are designated for five-year integrated LL.B. courses, while 2,11,763 seats are allocated for the three-year LL.B. course.

There are also 26,753 seats available for LL.M. courses.

Furthermore, the Bar Council of India (BCI) reported that between January 2019 and 2022, 311 new law universities and colleges were established, with Uttar Pradesh accounting for 68 of them, followed by 31 each in Rajasthan and Punjab & Haryana, and 24 in Assam.

In response to MPs Shardaben Patel and Rameshbhai Patel’s inquiry about pending cases over 50 years old, the Ministry stated that based on data from the Supreme Court’s Integrated Case Management Information System (ICMIS), there are no such cases pending before the apex court.

However, as of July 31, 2023, there are 1,063 cases pending for over 50 years in various High Courts, with only one being a criminal case. In district and lower courts, there are 1,134 long-pending cases, comprising 347 criminal cases and 787 civil cases.

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