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Delhi High Court slams government over non disbursement of funds to subordinate judiciary

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Said the bench to the government: You want to kill the goose that lays the golden egg?

New Delhi (ILNS): The Delhi High Court has rapped the Delhi government for not providing the funds to the subordinate judiciary and making it run from pillar to post in order to get the sanctioned funds.

A bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad noted: “Several directions have been issued in the recent past to the Delhi government to clear the pending files relating to sanctions/revalidations for providing facilities to the district courts for efficient discharge of judicial obligations. The said pending sanctions/revalidations include providing adequate support staff including group ‘C’ staff and official vehicles for the judges to commute to court. All the said issues have been hanging fire for a fairly long time.”

“150 judicial officers are due to be posted in a couple of months but their courts would not be functional without the support staff. It directed its administrative side to release the requisite Rs 2.52 crore from its budget to the district courts without any delay for the recruitment,” it said.

The court said that since the money is required, it was taking it from the funds provided for the Delhi High Court. However, the amount has to be returned to the Delhi High Court immediately on funds being made available by the Delhi Government to the District Court, on or before December 31.

It observed that the judiciary was not doing anything in this regard as it was patiently waiting for the Delhi government to release the funds. “You (Delhi government) did not do anything. Probably you took it as a weakness,” it said.

“Thankfully the high court has its own funds. You are making the subordinate judiciary run from pillar to post (for funds),” the bench told the counsel for the Delhi government.

The Court said, “As for the requirement of 119 cars pending at the end of the Delhi Government since the year 2018, it is deemed appropriate to direct the Delhi Government to start with releasing funds for purchasing 20% of the required pool cars, which will come to 23 cars, within three months from today.”

Delhi government counsel Santosh Tripathi said he had apprised the authorities about the orders passed by the high court in the case and wanted two weeks’ time and that the matter will be placed before the Cabinet.

He said he was not in a position to state the timeline by which the Delhi government will be able to resolve the issue.

“Orders relating to the remaining proposals pending at the end of the Delhi Government are being deferred for the present in view of the assurance given by Mr. Santosh Kumar Tripathi, learned ASC that this court may not need to pass any further orders on the judicial side as the pending matters will be examined with all seriousness by the Cabinet and resolved satisfactorily in a time bound manner,” said the Court.

The Delhi High Court directed Delhi Government to file fresh Status Report before the next date of hearing. “The Delhi High Court will also file a Status Report as to the progress made with regard to filling up of the posts of support staff in the District Courts and Family Court and purchase of pool cars,” it said.

The court on Wednesday also rapped the government for not sanctioning funds for the basic requirement of district courts, which are generating huge revenues through collection of fines, traffic challans and court fees, saying it wanted to kill golden egg-laying goose.

A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad remarked, “Rs 115 crore collected through virtual traffic fines by district courts. What do you (Delhi government) want? You want to kill the goose that lays the golden egg?”

Read the order here;

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