Delhi High Court on Friday asked the city government and the Union Public Service Commission to ensure that the process of recruitment of prosecutors in courts is concluded expeditiously.
A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sachin Datta asked the authorities to report compliance of the direction on May 9.
“The state government and the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) are directed to ensure that the process of recruitment is concluded as early as possible,” the bench said, adding that appointment letters shall be issued to those selected.
The high court was hearing a batch of petitions, including a suo motu case (a matter initiated on its own), concerning issues related to recruitment, appointment and working of public prosecutors in the city.
Advocate Ashish Dixit, representing one of the petitioners, submitted that the result of recruiting assistant public prosecutors was declared on March 13. However, appointment orders were not issued yet.
The court further directed the UPSC to take appropriate steps for appointing chief public prosecutors and report the progress on the next date of hearing.
It listed the matter for further hearing on May 9.
The UPSC earlier told the high court that it had not received any fresh proposal from the Delhi government for filling posts of prosecutors in courts here and a statement made by the state about it was “incorrect” and “inappropriate”.
The UPSC’s statement was made in an affidavit in response to the Delhi government’s submission before the court on January 17 that a fresh requisition had been sent to the commission for filling up 108 vacant public prosecutors’ posts.
Earlier, one of the petitioners’ counsel claimed there are so many vacancies for the post of prosecutors despite continuous orders of the court.
The Delhi government’s counsel had said recruitment is an ongoing process and steps are being taken to fill the vacancies.
In January, the high court granted a final opportunity of four weeks to the AAP government to expedite the process of filling the vacant posts of public prosecutors and observed that the huge backlog of cases in the criminal justice system can be remedied only if these vacancies are filled at the earliest.
The amicus curiae appointed by the court to assist it had said that as many as 108 courts in Delhi are non-functional for want of public prosecutors.
Advocate Kushal Kumar, appearing for petitioner Delhi Prosecutors’ Welfare Association, said the situation is such that one public prosecutor is handling almost three to four courts, bringing the entire criminal justice system to a standstill.
Last July, the high court had asked the Delhi government to file a status report in respect of the vacancies and the steps taken to fill those.