New Delhi, Feb 17 (PTI) The Delhi High Court sought the AAP government's response on Wednesday on a PIL to create posts of additional public prosecutors and then appoint them to the 55 fast-track and POCSO courts in the national capital.
A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh issued notice to the Delhi government and sought its stand on the plea moved by the Delhi Prosecutors' Welfare Association.
The court asked the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government to try and ensure that the issue is resolved by the next date of hearing on March 24.
The association, represented by senior advocate Ashish Mohan, has claimed that the Delhi government has 'refused to create posts of additional public prosecutors to be posted in the 55 fast-track and POCSO courts (existing and proposed)'.
POCSO courts are those set up to deal with offences under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The association, in its plea filed through advocates Kushal Kumar, Aditya Kapoor, Harsh Ahuja and Akashdeep Gupta, has stated that the Supreme Court had in 2019 directed the setting up of special POCSO courts in each district, where there are more than 100 cases under the POCSO Act.
The apex court had also said that these courts would be funded by the central government and the funds would also take care of the appointment of presiding officers, support staff, special public prosecutors and other necessary infrastructure, the association has said.
It has further said that as speedy disposal of POCSO cases was being hampered due to the non-availability of public prosecutors (PPs), the Directorate of Prosecution ordered that in such situations, the substitute PPs should be present.
However, as this arrangement was not found to be effective, the Directorate of Prosecution proposed creation of posts of additional public prosecutors and also sent a proposal for the creation of two such posts in each fast-track and POSCO court, the plea has claimed.
It has further claimed that this proposal was rejected by the Delhi government's home department, which said the same was unreasonable.
The association has said presently, the 55 fast-track and POCSO courts are functioning with 37 PPs, which is leading to overburdening of the prosecution and an increase in the pendency of rape and POCSO cases. PTI HMP RC