Delhi HC pulls up AAP govt regarding 108 vacant posts of public prosecutors

The Delhi High Court has pulled up the Arvind Kejriwal government over the delay in filling up vacant posts of public prosecutors in the Districts Court. The High Court said that “if the Status Report is not filed and proper explanation is not given as to why the vacancies have not been filled up, Court will direct the personal appearance of the Law Secretary and other officers who are responsible for the delay”.

Last week, the bench of Justice Satish Chander Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad said, “the criminal justice system is already plagued with a huge backlog of cases which can be remedied only if vacancies of Public Prosecutors are filled up at the earliest”.

The Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) is the only authority that can fill these vacancies. By way of last indulgence, four weeks’ time is granted to GNCTD to expedite the process of filling up vacant posts of Public Prosecutors.

The bench also observed that the ‘situation is alarming’ when it was informed that there are 108 posts of public prosecutors lying vacant while hearing suo motu writ petitions regarding the improvement of the criminal justice system.

Advocate Ashish Dixit appearing for Delhi Prosecutors Association submitted that each public prosecutor is handling almost three to four courts and that this has brought the entire criminal justice system to a standstill.

The Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) is also granted the last opportunity to file a reply in the matter as directed by this Court, failing which this Court will direct the personal appearance of the Secretary, DoPT, said the Court.

The Court directed the government to file an affidavit stating the steps taken to fulfil the vacancies within four weeks failing which the Law Secretary and other officials would appear personally on the next date of hearing which is fixed for February 14, 2023.

The High court had initiated a petition on its own on the poor condition of the prosecutors. The court was also informed that one of the causes for the delay in the disposal of the cases with regard to undertrials was the shortage of prosecutors as well as infrastructure facilities and supporting staff for them.

(With PTI inputs)

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