Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi Government to process the four pending items that are related to the project of digitisation/scanning of records and upgradation/enhancement of existing leased lines in the District Court Complexes within a period of two weeks under advance intimation to the High Court.
The Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad has further directed the Delhi Government to:
'As for the remaining sanctions/revalidations relating to other branches and projects of the District Courts pending at the end of GNCTD for general matter, including those relating to the Recruitment Cell, Judicial Branch and pool car sanction, they shall be processed by the respondent/GNCTD within four weeks with advance intimation to the respondent No.3/Delhi High Court.'
The order has come in a writ petition moved by Anand Vaid seeking a direction to be issued to Family Courts to record evidence in pending cases through video conferencing.
In the last hearing, the court had directed the Delhi Government to submit an affidavit indicating the time required for upgradation of existing lease lines from 34 MBPS to 1 GBPS in each District Court Complex and for the digitisation of the court records.
Today, the Additional Secretary (Law and Justice) of the Delhi Government informed the court that administrative approval and concurrence of the Finance Department, Government of NCT of Delhi for sanction of expenditure of Rs.3.0 Crores towards digitization of approximately three crore pages of court files has been granted on 11.06.2020.
The court was further informed that administrative approval and expenditure sanction of Rs.3,20,38,200/- has been granted for upgradation/enhancement of the existing leased lines from 34 mbps to 1gbps in all District Courts complexes.
The court, however, observed that the Delhi Government did not take any affirmative step to digitise the District Courts during the lockdown and did not 'elicit any positive response' till orders on the judicial side had to be passed.
While issuing the said directions to the Delhi Government, the court observed that:
'We may emphasise here that the Committee constituted by Hon'ble the Chief Justice for Graded Opening of the High Court and the Subordinate Courts has directed that Judicial Officers would be entitled to work from home by conducting virtual hearings, it is imperative that sufficient bandwidth be provided to them to run the courts electronically. Any delay in sanction of the connected issues relating to the project of digitisation and scanning of records and upgradation/enhancement of the existing leased lines for the District Court.'
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