Unhappy with the delay in clearing fees of prosecutors and standing counsels for various government agencies, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to “positively” complete the process for prosecutors and standing counsels appearing in the Delhi High Court within two months.
The court of Justice Kailash Gambhir and Justice Sunita Gupta also directed the prosecutors, who had approached the court, to submit copies of pending bills to the department concerned within two weeks.
The court was also informed that besides the CBI, the Enforcement Directorate and Economic Offences Wing had also failed pay the fees to prosecutors and standing counsels who had represented them before various courts in the past. The court took note of specific complaints field by the Delhi government lawyers, observing that it was a “sad situation”.
In 2009, the court had taken suo motu cognizance of the issue of delays in conducting trials in courts and had taken up the issue of lack of adequate facilities for prosecutors. The court had also noted that there was a shortage of prosecutors in trial courts, due to which, one additional public prosecutor (APP) was being forced to take up the work of two or three courts.
The court had also directed the government to appoint more Public Prosecutors. The Delhi government on Wednesday informed the court that while the UPSC had cleared the appointment of 15 additional public prosecutor, the government could not take a decision on their appointment since the model code of conduct for elections was still in place.
However, the court said, “Why is the model code affecting the judiciary? These appointments have nothing to do with politics or elections?”
The court has now asked the government to expedite the process, after it was informed that the model code would be in place only till May 15. “There should not be any further delay” the court said.