New Delhi, June 11:
The Delhi High Court has asked the Centre to give prosecutors all the benefits which have been recommended by the Delhi government regarding revision of their pay scales.
A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon (since retired) and Justice Brijesh Sethi said that in view of the categorical direction of the Supreme Court in the Delhi-Centre power tussle, the Union of India has no other option but to accept the recommendations made by the Government of NCT of Delhi in its totality and implement them.
The bench noted that the orders passed by it on September 3, 2015 and February 1, 2019, in the matter of granting revision of pay scales to the prosecutors as recommended by the Delhi Government have not been implemented yet.
The court was informed that the committee constituted by the Centre has accepted recommendations of Delhi government regarding certain posts and there are differences on others and some reductions have been recommended by the panel. However, the Centre is yet to take a final decision.
The bench said as far as the service conditions and benefits pertaining to prosecutors are concerned, the Centre has to accept the recommendations made by the Delhi government and the Lieutenant Governor, while appointing the Special Public Prosecutor, is to act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.
“Accordingly, we direct the Union of India to do so and issue an appropriate notification within one month from today (May 30). Needless to mention that the UOI shall extend all the benefits to the prosecutors as recommended by the Government of NCT of Delhi. List for further consideration on July 25,” the bench said.
The court also asked the authorities to show cause as to why relief claimed by the prosecutors be not considered and granted.
It asked the Centre and Delhi government to file an affidavit in this regard before the next date of hearing.
A contempt petition filed by Delhi Prosecutors Welfare Association has alleged “deliberate and willful disobedience” on the part of the Centre and the city government in complying with the court’s 2015 order.
The court was hearing two PILs seeking upward revision in the pay scales of prosecutors and for equipping them with facilities and infrastructure needed to do their job.
It had earlier asked how the government lawyers or prosecutors could be expected to perform efficiently if they were not paid properly and on time.
The court was earlier informed by senior advocate Rajeev K Virmani, who was appointed an amicus curiae, and senior advocate Dayan Krishnan and advocate Ashish Dixit, who represented the prosecutors, that assistant prosecutors were being paid in the pay scale of Rs 9,300 to Rs 34,800.
For additional public prosecutors the grade pay was Rs 4,600 in pay bank II as per the 6th Pay Commission which was equivalent to what was received by a stenographer in district courts.
In 2009, the high court had initiated a petition on its own on the poor condition of the prosecutors here. The court was also informed that one of the causes for delay in disposal of the cases with regard to undertrials was the shortage of prosecutors as well as infrastructure facilities and supporting staff for them.