Lt Governor Recalls Files Lying With Delhi Government For Months

Delhi\’s Lieutenant Governor, V K Saxena, has directed the retrieval of all files related to courts, judicial infrastructure, expedited justice delivery, and the justice administration system in the city due to perceived delays by the AAP government, as reported by officials at the Raj Niwas on Thursday. The Lt Governor has specified that files pending with the law minister for up to six months must be submitted to him within three days, according to the officials.

In response, the AAP government asserted in a statement that it has made the highest-ever investment in judicial infrastructure in Delhi\’s history. The recalled files include proposals for constructing a district court complex in Rohini, lawyers\’ chambers at Rouse Avenue Court, procuring thin-client machines for district courts, printers for family courts, constituting state and district legal services authorities, appointing an \”official receiver,\” establishing panels of the government in the Delhi VAT and GST tribunal, district courts, and a file regarding the enhancement of allowances to retired chief justices and judges of the Delhi High Court, as per a Raj Niwas official.

A report from the principal secretary (law and justice) on December 4 brought to the attention of the LG Secretariat that 18 files were pending, and the officer had also written to the law minister on November 13, urging an expeditious decision on the files but received no response, according to officials. In response, the LG Secretariat, in communication to the principal secretary (law and justice) on Thursday, requested all files pending with the law minister for the Lt Governor\’s perusal within three days.

The communication, also marked to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, cited that the \”inordinate delay\” caused by the government in disposing of these files was impacting the efficiency, effectiveness, and responsiveness of the judicial system, contravening the Supreme Court\’s initiatives to introduce technical innovations in the administration of justice.

The lieutenant governor, while recalling the files, expressed serious concern about the significant backlog of vital proposals related to court and judicial administration, highlighting that the \”delays\” by the law minister were impeding the administration of justice in the capital, according to officials. The Kejriwal government countered by emphasizing its substantial investments in constructing world-class premises at Rouse Avenue Court, Karkardooma Court Complex, and Tis Hazari Court. It stated that before the AAP government came to power, there was minimal investment in judicial infrastructure.

The AAP government detailed the investment trajectory in judicial infrastructure, from ₹504 crore in 2013-14 to ₹800 crore in 2015-16, ₹1,450 crore in 2017-18, and ₹1,528 crore in 2022-23. Furthermore, the AAP government announced approval for various projects related to judicial infrastructure in the current year and pledged to prioritize such projects in the future despite limited powers.

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