Strength of judges in HP high court increased

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Shimla, Apr 19 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today said that the strength of judges in HP High Court had been increased from present nine to eleven judges.

Addressing the Conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices at New Delhi, Mr Dhumal said the Himachal Government had placed requisition of filling up of 15 posts of civil judges (junior division) with Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission.

The Chief Minister added that Commission had started the process of conducting examination and selection of the candidates for filling up the vacant posts.

''Present 108 subordinate courts are working in the state and six new courts of civil judges (junior division) have been created in the state during last two years for speedy disposal of pending cases,'' he added.

The Chief Minister said that the government had taken various steps to augment and upgrade the infrastructure in the courts.

"Himachal Pradesh High Court has been fully computerised and matter has been taken up with the Ministry of Home Affairs and e-committee of Supreme Court for computerisation of district and subordinate courts in the state." ''Over Rs 25 crore was spent on construction of court complexes and residential houses of judicial officers in the state during last financial year and state government would set up video conferencing facility in four subordinate courts and four jails in the state for fast disposalof court cases'', Mr Dhumal conceded.

The Chief Minister said, "The government has also set up Himachal Pradesh State judicial Academy to strengthen the judicial administration by providing judicial education and training to judicial officers at the time of induction in the service and the Academy is also imparting training to prosecutors and court staff by conducting refresher courses on various issues." ''The state government has delegated the power of appropriation and reappropriation of funds to the Chief Justice of High Court within sanctioned budget for judiciary to grant financial autonomy to the High Court, and three permanent Lok Adalats have been set up in the state to provide affordable, cost effective and accessible justice to the poor and needy persons'', he said.

Mr Dhumal said that the legal literacy camps and 291 Lok Adalats had been held in the state during last financial year and government had used the mechanism of alternative dispute redressal to lessen the burden of courts.

The Chief Minister said the High Courts of Himahcl Pradesh Civil Procedure Alternative Dispute and Resolution and Mediation Rules had been framed and enforced in the State in the year 2005 and stressed the need to provide professional training to the mediators and conciliators for acquiring expertise in the art of mediation and conciliation.

UNI XC AS PS BK1626

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