Once the hearings are over and the hustle-bustle of the courtroom dies down,a few people,dressed in black and white,sift through piles of documents. They consider themselves lucky when a court staff offers help by getting some of the papers photocopied. No iPads,no tablets,not for this lot.
They are Delhis public prosecutors,still waiting for a better deal on pay bands,infrastructure,amenities and career progression prospects. In June 2010,the then Chief Justice of Delhi High Court was assured by the government that it would improve their state of affairs. But these officers of the court still lack basic amenities like drinking water,washrooms,furniture,study material,support staff or adequate training.
On Monday,another judge spoke for the officers. Appealing to the government to give its prosecutors their entitlement,Justice
S Ravindra Bhat said: You must give them adequate incentives so as to attract young talent and be able to retain them. These are the reasons why not many young lawyers want to become prosecutors. You correct these issues and we may have some great talents defending your cases.
Told to respond to a fresh plea by the prosecutors,Najmi Waziri,standing counsel for the government,adduced an affidavit. It disclosed that in a meeting on April 26,several decisions were taken in the interest of the prosecutors.
Waziri told the court that the revision of payscale would be reviewed based on the representation that the citys prosecutors were paid much less than those working in trial courts in Haryana and UP. The payscale of prosecutors in Delhi was exactly what government nurses were paid.
The court asked the government to expeditiously move the files between the required ministries and take a call as early as possible. It asked the government to give extra 25 per cent emolument to prosecutors for working in evening courts.
Waziris submission that Rs 35,000 was agreed as reimbursement for purchase of laptops was accepted by the court. It asked them to hire two stenographers for every district on a contract basis and provide prosecutors with dictaphones and dictation machines. Justice Bhat directed the government to fill up the vacancy of 55 prosecutors by sending requisition to the UPSC and fixed the matter for next week.