01 August, 2021

Ball’s In Other Court

Bureaucracy to judge merits of its own earlier decisions

Capital Gains
File photo of workers loading boxes of documents during a Darbar shift
Photograph by Umer Asif
Ball’s In Other Court

Two recent developments in Jammu and Kashmir appeared as small, almost invisible blips on the radar, escaping major public scrutiny in a country battling a mystery virus and in lockdown mode. First, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court left it to the bureaucracy to take a final decision on ending a nearly 150-year-old tradition of shifting the capital twice each year known as the ‘Darbar Move’. Then the Supreme Court also left it to the bureaucracy to decide whether the security scenario was good enough to restore 4G telecom services in Jammu and Kashmir.

In both cases, the judiciary has faced criticism for allegedly abdicating its responsibility, and asking the bureaucracy to judge its own earlier decisions. “It is strange that courts have come up with long observations but have asked bureaucracy to take final decisions,” says CPI-M leader  and former legislator Mohammad Yousuf Taragami. He was particularly harsh on the 4G issue. “The Prime Minister is a strong advocate of digital India but bureaucrats are excluding J&K from this dream....

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