Prosecutors' Pay Scale Revision: Delhi HC Says Centre Bound To Implement Delhi Govt's Recommendation [Read Order]

Prosecutors

The Delhi High Court has ordered the Centre to extend all the benefits to the prosecutors as recommended by the Government of NCT of Delhi way back in year 2015 while observing that the Centre is bound to accept the recommendations made by the Delhi cabinet with regard to revision of pay scales of the prosecutors since the Lieutenant Governor has to act on the aid and advice of the Cabinet in matter of appointment of Public Prosecutor.

A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Brijesh Sethi asked the Centre to accept the recommendations made by a Committee constituted by the Delhi government with regard to revision of pay scale of prosecutors and issue an appropriate notification within one month.

The bench was hearing a batch of petitions including the one moved by the Delhi Prosecutors Welfare Association and also intervention application moved by Prosecutor Jamshed Ansari ruing non-implementation of the directions issued by this Court vide order dated 03.09.2015 and subsequent order dated 01.02.2019, in the matter of granting revision of pay scales to the prosecutors as recommended by Government of Delhi.

It is to be noted that in compliance of the 2015 order, the Delhi Cabinet came up with the proposal for revision of pay scale of officers working under the Directorate of Prosecution on September 1, 2015. As per the revised scale, the pay scale of Assistant Public Prosecutors would be Rs15,600-39,100 (5400 GP Group-A Gazetted) as against existing Rs 9300-34,800 (4600 GP Group-B). The pay scale of Director (Prosecution) has been hiked to Rs37000-67000 (8700 GP). The chief prosecutor's pay scale has been upgraded to Rs7600 (Rs. 15600- 39100) and new scale for Addl. Public Prosecutor is increased to 6600 (Rs. 15600- 39100).

"As far as compliance of the directions issued by this Court vide order dated 03.09.2015 and subsequent order dated 01.02.2019, in the matter of granting revision of pay scales to the prosecutors as recommended by government of Delhi is concerned, the same has not been implemented.

"We are informed that for certain post the Committee constituted by the UOI had accepted the recommendations of the Delhi Government but in case of certain other posts there are differences and some reductions have been recommended by the Committee, however, the Union of India is still to take a final decision," the bench noted.

The bench referred to the Supreme Court's observation in Government of NCT of Delhi vs. UOI, wherein it had held that, "The High Court has also categorically held that the power to appoint a Public Prosecutor is relatable to Entries 1 and 2 of List III. In our opinion, the High Court has rightly held that in respect of these entries, the Government of NCT of Delhi has legislative competence under Articles 239AA of the Constitution and that the LC under Article 239AA(4) of the Constitution shall act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers. This conclusion of the High Court is in tune with the judgment of the Constitution Bench. We, therefore, hold that Lieutenant Governor, while appointing the Special Public Prosecutor, is to act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers. This issue is answered accordingly.."

"In the light of aforesaid categorical direction of the Supreme Court, the Union of India (UOI) has no other option but to accept the recommendations made by the Government of NCT of Delhi in its totality and implement the same. Accordingly, we direct the UOI to do so and issue an appropriate notification within one month from today. Needless to mention that the UOI shall extend all the benefits to the prosecutors as recommended by the Government of NCT of Delhi," the high court ordered.

In the year 2009, Delhi High Court initiated suo motu petition on the poor condition of Public Prosecutors in Delhi. The court was also informed that one of the causes for delay in disposal of the cases with regard to undertrials was the shortage of Public Prosecutors as well as infrastructure facilities and supporting staff for them, which were woefully inadequate.

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