Delhi HC Directs Govt. To Set Up 18 Fast Track & 22 Commercial Courts [Read Order]
The Delhi High Court has directed the government of NCT Delhi to decide on the establishment of 18 fast track courts and 22 commercial courts in various districts of Delhi as demanded by the high court and sought a report on the decision taken before May 30.
A division bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Anup J Bhambani held that once the high court has made a demand for establishment of certain courts (fast track and commercial) for speedy disposal of cases, the state government cannot sit over the appointments but instead is duty bound to sanction the requisite number of posts.
The court was hearing a writ petition filed by one Prag Chawla who sought directions for appointment to the posts for these courts.
A full bench of the Delhi High Court sanctioned 20 posts of Additional District and Sessions Judge in Delhi Higher Judicial Service and 22 further posts in the Delhi Higher Judicial Service in super time scale for the establishment of commercial courts. Thereafter, the matter remained pending before the state government for more than two years.
Senior Counsel Dayan Krishnan appeared on behalf of the petitioner, Anupam Shrivastava appeared on behalf of the Delhi government and Rajshekhar Rao represented the high court itself.
The court referred to the communication between the state government and the high court administration and noted how the state enquired as to the number of courts that are to be established.
The court observed:
"The query clearly indicates that the Govt. of NCT is even willing to sanction more courts and therefore there should not be any impediment in sanctioning at least the 18 courts indicated in the query.
Accordingly, we direct that appropriate sanction for establishment of 18 fast track should be communicated immediately to the Delhi High Court."
The court also referred to the information received under the Right to Information Act which shows that more than 6,414 cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences 2012 ('POCSO') are pending in various in courts in Delhi and more than 2,800 cases under various other sections, particularly Section 376 IPC (rape), are pending in the courts in Delhi.
Dayan Krishnan cited the decision of a division bench of the Bombay High Court in the case Vihar Dhurve vs. State of Maharashtra & Ors.
Finally, the bench examined the said judgment and noted:
"These principles clearly indicate that once the High Court has sought for certain courts for speedy disposal of cases, the State Government cannot sit over it and has no option but to sanction the posts as demanded by the High Court.
That apart, now under the Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Act, 2015, the State is also bound to create commercial courts in an endeavour to dispose of commercial disputes. More than 22 courts are required to be established in various Districts of Delhi for clearing cases under the Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Act, 2015 and the demand for the same is also pending before the Govt. of NCT of Delhi.
Once the High Court has made a demand, the State is duty bound to sanction the posts and therefore we direct that with regard to 18 fast track courts and 22 commercial courts as demanded by the High Court, the matter be placed before the appropriate authorities namely the Cabinet, a decision taken and a report be submitted to this Court on or before 30.05.2019."
Read the Order Here