Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Okay more district judges within 2 weeks: Bombay HC to govt

Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Tuesday said the forthcoming assembly elections or the code of conduct will not come in the way of the Maharashtra cabinet deciding on sanctioning additional 10% posts of district judges for fast-track courts conducting trials of criminal cases, including crimes against women.

Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sonak passed the order after perusing a September 9 letter by the finance department, which said the cabinet may not be able to take a decision on district judges due to the polls and code of conduct. The judges heard a public interest litigation by Vihar Durve following the Supreme Court's 2012 direction to create the posts.

The judges initially rebuked the government for seeking four weeks to decide as it awaited sanction of a high-powered committee. They questioned if the government had any option. "The proposal is pending for so long. The SC order is there. The Central government says funds are available. So what else do you have to consider?'' asked Justice Shah. Durve's advocate, Narayan Bubna, said there was no scope for discussion as the SC's order had to be complied with.

The judges then set a two-week deadline for the government to create the posts. After the hearing, the government's advocate submitted the finance department's letter stating that the high-powered committee had approved a proposal for additional posts of civil judge (junior and senior divisions). But it sought three months to complete the procedure with regard to district judges. The judges said that the Supreme Court direction "gives no discretion'' to the government.

"The creation of posts of district judges can never be considered an electoral issue or an issue which can affect the outcome of elections one way or the other,'' the judges noted in their order and adjourned the hearing.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/followceleb.cms?alias=Women,Judges,High Court,district,Crime

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