Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court on Thursday observed that the government must be held responsible for the delay in justice dispensation in the state’s criminal courts.
Citing information that only 212 public prosecutors (PPs) were appointed to the 570 criminal courts in the state, the court asked how speedy justice was possible.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy expressed serious concern over the undue delay in appointment of the PPs and sought immediate action to fill the posts.
The bench also asked the government to make sure that the post of director of prosecutions is filled by the government and a compliance report to that effect is filed before the court by April 1.
The bench said it was not impressed by the submissions made by the government pleader for home department, Srikanth Reddy, on the appointment of PPs. He had informed the court that the government has taken the initiative in appointing 212 public prosecutors against 414 vacancies.
“Advocate General B.S. Prasad had held elaborate discussions with the home secretary and other officials, due to which the appointments have materialised and efforts are being made to fill up the remaining vacancies,” Srikanth Reddy had said.
Reacting to this, Chief Justice Hima Kohli expressed surprise that six months were “not enough” for the government to complete the process of appointment of PPs. The last such order was issued in September 2020 and now the government came before the court and sought more time for making fresh appointments.
“Such undue delay will deprive the needy of justice as public prosecutors formed the backbone of the criminal justice system and the entire trial of criminal cases depended on the assistance rendered by the PPs to the court. Non-appointment of PPs delays justice. How long will deliberations go on? We want results, not the meetings,” CJ made it clear.
Not satisfied with the contention of the government pleader that 212 public prosecutors have been appointed as of now and only 200 posts remained to be filled, CJ Kohli observed that 50 per cent of vacancies remaining vacant was no small matter. It meant one pubic prosecutor managing two courts. “There are 570 criminal courts in Telangana,” the CJ noted and pointed out that the present situation delayed trials and justice too is delayed.
The court directed the government to provide the infrastructure like laptop and proper training to public prosecutors as to how prosecution is done and the investigation process taken forward when they are appointed.