After pulling up the administration for its casual approach, the Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi Government to clear the pending urgent proposals on the digitisation of district courts in Delhi.
The Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad observed the following:
'We are compelled to take note of the casual approach adopted by the Delhi Government in clearing matters of such an urgency, particularly when restricted court hearings through video-conferencing are continuing due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has worsened in Delhi. The Delhi Government is directed to act with alacrity and clear the aforesaid two urgent proposals within two weeks from today.'
The order has come in a plea seeking a direction to be issued to the district courts to record evidence in pending cases through video conferencing.
In today's proceedings, the Delhi Government submitted the compliance report on the four urgent matters related to digitisation of district courts which were identified during the last hearing.
In its compliance report, the Delhi Government stated that:
'...only the first proposal relating to grant of permission to initiate e-tender process for AMC of local area network installed in the Delhi District Courts, has been sanctioned. As for the second proposal, relating to permission for floating of e-tender for Annual Rate Contract of LAN installed at District Court Complexes, Delhifor a period of two years, though the compliance affidavit states that the said proposal was forwarded by the Minister (Law), GNCTD to the Finance Department only on 29.06.2020, Mr. Anupam Shrivastava, learned ASC appearing for the Delhi Government states that it has been conveyed to him only this morning that clearance has been given yesterday.'
At this point, the OSD (Examination) and the Chairperson of the Centralised Computer Committee of the District Courts jointly submitted that the order mentioned in the compliance report does not deal with the issue of LAN at all. Rather, they submitted, it deals with the issue of purchasing laptops, computers, etc.
With regards to the issues of purchasing Network Attached Storage, Expenditure Sanction, and procurement of routers, the Delhi Government submitted that the Law Minister (GNCTD) forwarded the said proposals to the IT Department only on 26.09.2019.
While asking the Delhi Government to act with more alacrity, the court directed the concerned government to file status report on all the pending proposals before the next date of hearing.
The matter will next be taken up on July 16.
Petitioner in this case was represented by Mr. Ankush Satija, Mr. Ankur Mahindro and Ms. Sanjoli Mehrotra.
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