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HC in consultation with Delhi govt over prosecutors, staff and infrastructure in trial courts

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: November 28, 2018  | 20:23 IST

(Eds: Changing figures in para 5) New Delhi, Nov 28 (PTI) The Delhi High Court Wednesday said it was in consultations with the Delhi government over the need for more prosecutors, staff and infrastructure, including court rooms, in subordinate judiciary. It has however expressed reservation over the government suggestion to hire prosecutors on contractual basis. A bench headed by Chief Justice Rajendra Menon said he and the registrar general of the high court recently had a meeting with Delhi Law Minister in which they have expressed their concern over these issues. The bench, also comprising Justice V K Rao, said the government has assured that the issues would be resolved and it will wait for the outcome. According to advocate AK Singh, Treasurer of Delhi Prosecutors Welfare Association, there should a minimum of 328 prosecutors in trial courts in Delhi. The current strength is 256. The court was hearing two PILs seeking upward revision in the pay scales of prosecutors and for equipping them with facilities and infrastructure needed to do their job. Regarding the Delhi government's proposal to appoint prosecutors on contractual basis, the chief justice expressed reservations on the ground that this would lack accountability and the appointments should be made on regular basis. On revision of pay scales of prosecutors and payment of arrears, the court was informed that the Delhi government was considering the issue and it has sent the proposal to the Centre. The court asked the Delhi government to file an affidavit on the action taken on the issue of revision of pay scales of prosecutors and payment of arrears and the communication sent by it to the central government. It also directed the central government to file an affidavit on the decision taken by it on Delhi government's proposal. The court listed the matter for further hearing on February 1. The high court had earlier asked the AAP government to explore the possibility of setting up an academy for imparting training to prosecutors and take a cue from other states like Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Bihar where the governments have such centres. It had also asked the Registrar General of the Delhi High Court to see whether prosecutors could be given training at the judicial academy here. The registrar general has now filed a status report before the court on the issue. The court had earlier asked how the government lawyers or prosecutors could be expected to perform efficiently if they were not paid properly and on time. The centre had in April told the court that it has hiked the salaries of prosecutors in Delhi to bring them at par with their counterparts in other states. The court was earlier informed by senior advocate Rajeev K Virmani, who was appointed an amicus curiae, and senior advocate Dayan Krishnan and advocate Ashish Dixit, who represented the prosecutors, that assistant prosecutors were being paid in the pay scale of Rs 9,300 to Rs 34,800. For additional public prosecutors the grade pay was Rs 4,600 in pay bank II as per the 6th Pay Commission which was equivalent to what was received by a stenographer in district courts. PTI SKV HMP SA SA

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