HC expresses displeasure over lack of cooperation from Delhi govt on space for judicial officers

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 Delhi High Court

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The Delhi High Court on Friday expressed dissatisfaction with the Delhi government's "complete" lack of cooperation in enhancing the conditions of district courts in the city.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday expressed dissatisfaction with the Delhi government's "complete" lack of cooperation in enhancing the conditions of district courts in the city.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Mini Pushkarna observed that neither funds were being released nor were any judicial infrastructure projects being approved.

On November 22, the high court had expressed concerns about the lack of space for judicial officers, particularly mentioning the shortage of courtrooms for the 110 magistrates expected to join next year, and had directed the Delhi government to state whether it would provide funds and land to address the issue.

On Friday, labelling it as "non-cooperation at its peak," the bench directed the Delhi government counsel to consult the Law Secretary on the matter and asked for a detailed affidavit outlining the current situation.

The court criticised the absence of progress on the government's part, stating that no funds were being released, ongoing infrastructure projects were non-functional, and overall, there was a notable lack of collaboration.

Pointing out its restraint in issuing orders, it said that complete non-cooperation is not a viable solution, and expressed concern over the sharing of courtrooms among judges at Patiala House Courts and the inconvenience caused by some judges attending court only to record evidence in cases.

In response to the Delhi government's counsel, who pointed to the Central government's role in addressing land-related issues, the bench insisted on seeking feedback from law officers and the Law Secretary to address the stalled projects.

The matter is now listed for the next hearing on January 9.

Last time, the court had stressed on the importance of prioritising courts and observed the serious problem arising from insufficient space.

"Our priority is the courts. We don’t have enough courts, 110 magistrates are going to be ready next year. We don’t have space for them. It is a serious problem," the court had said.

"No project is getting sanctioned. Nothing is in the pipeline No infrastructure is getting sanctioned. They are not releasing the funds…If the Delhi government is willing to give funds, we have no problems," it had added.

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