The Delhi High Court on Tuesday ordered constitution of a monitoring committee comprising government officials to periodically review the requirement and recruitment of public prosecutors for trial courts in the national capital.
A bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan stressed on the need for recruiting more public prosecutors (PPs) while voicing concern over pendency of cases in lower courts.
“Cases are piling up in trial courts because there are no PPs. Officials saying there is surplus have not visited courts,” remarked the bench, also comprising Justice Mini Pushkarna.
The court said judicial officers have to wait for public prosecutors to hear cases as they are being “shared” between trial courts.
The court said the monitoring committee shall comprise officials from various departments including finance and law & justice, and asked it to submit a report before the next date in February.
It added that the committee shall also make recommendations to the Delhi government with respect to vacancies of public prosecutors.
The high court was hearing a batch of petitions, including a suo motu case (a matter it initiated on its own), on issues related to recruitment, appointment and working of public prosecutors in the city.
The PILs have also sought upward revision of the pay scales of prosecutors and equipping them with facilities and infrastructure needed for efficient discharge of their job.
Amicus curiae Rajeev K Virmani, who is assisting the court in the matter, submitted repeated judicial orders asking the authorities to deploy adequate number of public prosecutors in Delhi courts notwithstanding, no system is in place to ensure the same and vacancies remain unfilled.
Earlier this month, the high court had underscored the need for recruiting more public prosecutors for trial courts and said the “consistent shortfall” in their number was a serious problem.
“Judges are sitting in chambers and not working because the prosecutor is in other court…The prosecutor goes and does bail in one court and then comes and does evidence in another,” Justice Manmohan had said.
In 2009, the high court had initiated a petition on its own on the poor working conditions of prosecutors in the trial courts here. The court was also told that the underlying causes for delay in disposal of cases with regard to undertrials included shortage of prosecutors, and a lack of infrastructure facilities and supporting staff for them.