The Tamil Nadu government has informed Madras High Court that it has agreed to sanction 1,344 additional posts for judicial staff as sought by the court. Home Secretary Apoorva Verma in an affidavit filed Friday before the first bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M Sundar, stated that a letter had been issued on December 5 whereby the government has agreed to sanction 1,344 additional posts.
The bench had pulled up the Home Secretary on August 19 last for his reply to the Registrar General of Madras High Court, stating that sanction of additional staff strength will impose a burden of Rs 30.18 crore on the government and that the proposal was not in line with the recommendations of Justice Shetty Commission in the strict sense.
The file on additional posts has been been sent for approval to the competent authority, the fresh affidavit said and also assured that necessary sanction would be obtained within the calendar year. The court then listed the matter for further hearing on January 6, 2017.
The matter relates to a PIL filed by the Tamil Nadu Judicial Ministerial Officers Association, seeking a direction to the state government to pay compensatory allowance to the staff attending Lok Adalats on holidays. On another issue in the petition on allotting government houses to judicial staff, the Housing and Urban Development department had also filed a separate affidavit on the matter.
The Additional Advocate General had clarified that the scheme, earmarked only to accommodate government servants, implied that it will also include the judicial staff and thus 15 per cent of the accommodation would be reserved for them. The affidavit further read that necessary orders shall be passed before the end of the calendar year. The bench had then directed that priority be given to judicial staff in the matter of allotting government houses.