Niloy Subir Ghosh
HC issues notice to Delhi Govt to respond to a plea for technological facilities for prosecutors
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday, 28th issued a notice and sought a response from the Delhi government on a plea seeking to provide adequate digital infrastructure and facilities to prosecutors saying they are employees of the State.
The bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup Jairam Bhambhani said that both the trial courts and the High Court relied upon the same system and if one of them is not working efficiently, the working of the other gets affected, and thus the present issue needs to be seen holistically.
The court issued notice to the Delhi government on an application filed by the Delhi Prosecutors Welfare Association in a pending suo motu case concerning digitisation of the Directorate of Prosecution. The notice stated that prosecutors are actually employees of the Delhi government and granted time to Delhi government standing counsel (criminal) Sanjay Lau to file a reply to the application. In the meantime, Principal Secretary (Home) of Delhi government was also directed to consider the representations made by the applicant (prosecutors association) in accordance with the law,
The Court then listed the matter for further hearing on November 12.
In the application filed through Advocates Kushal Kumar, Aditya Kapoor, and Harsh Ahuja for Erudite Legal; The association said that on account of the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, the virtual system of court hearings and filings has become a part of the judicial system . The prerequisite for an efficient virtual court environment is the availability of adequate facilities/ infrastructure which is missing in the case of public prosecutors in Delhi, it said. The court had also remarked that the application filed through erudite legal for prosecutor association was well-drafted.
The prosecutors association had also contended that the prosecutors lacked sufficient infrastructure to run their offices during the pandemic which resulted in virtual proceedings and it would be necessary to give them appropriate equipment to be able to run a digital office.
The bench also directed the Principal Secretary (Law) of the Delhi government to file an affidavit to show what compliance has been made in pursuance to its earlier undertaking given to the court relating to timely filing of filing appeals/criminal leave petitions by the State.
On Tuesday, the high court said the purpose of these proceedings is to ensure that the process of filing an appeal is not belated and the process of functioning is efficient.
The matter is of 2017 so we want to know how far you have reached,â€ it said.
The bench further directed the Principal Secretary (Law) of the Delhi government to give data concerning the compliance of timeline, given in May 2018, for filing appeals or criminal leave petitions before the high court from September 1.