Plea in HC for contempt action against Delhi govt

Plea in HC for contempt action against Delhi govt

Delhi High Court. (File Photo)

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought the response of the AAP government and the prison authorities here on a plea for contempt action against them for non-compliance of judicial orders regarding the appointment of a law officer in every jail in the city.

Justice A K Chawla asked the Delhi government's Home department and the prison authorities to file a status report and listed the matter for further hearing on July 2.

The order came on the plea by advocate Amit Sahni, who contended that the authorities have "wilfully" disobeyed the high court's September 27, 2019 direction to appoint law officers preferably within 12 weeks.

"It is most humbly and respectfully submitted that the respondents (Delhi government and prison authorities) have committed contempt of court by willfully disobeying the unequivocal direction of this court to complete the appointment procedure as early as possible and practicable, preferably within a period of 12 weeks," the contempt petition said.

The September 2019 direction had come on a PIL by Sahni seeking appointment of law officers in every jail in the city.

In his PIL, he had contended that appointment of law officers was provided for under the Delhi Prisons Act, yet no such official has been appointed and the legal affairs are handled by an officer equivalent to the rank of Dy Superintendent.

According to the contempt petition, there are a total of 16 jails in the city -- nine in the Tihar Prison complex, six in Mandoli and one in Rohini.

Sahni has claimed that since August 2016, there has been only one law officer to deal with all the 16 jails in the city.

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