A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad said clearing the project was a matter of urgency in the prevailing situation when restricted court hearings through video-conferencing are continuing due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has "worsened" in Delhi.
"We are compelled to take note of the casual approach adopted by the Delhi government in clearing matters of such an urgency, particularly when restricted court hearings through video-conferencing are continuing due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has worsened in Delhi.
"The Delhi government is directed to act with alacrity and clear the proposals (related to the project) within two weeks from today," the bench said.
The observation and direction came after the bench perused the status report filed by the Delhi government stating that of the four proposals related to the project, only one -- with regard to contract for annual maintenance of the local area network (LAN) in the district courts -- has been sanctioned.
The remaining three proposals -- regarding permission for floating of e-tender for Annual Rate Contract of LAN installed in district courts, revalidation of expenditure sanction for the procurement of network attached storage for the district courts and revalidation of expenditure sanction for procurement of six routers through Government e-Marketplace portal -- were pending before various departments, the high court was informed.
"The next compliance affidavit directed to be filed by the Delhi government in terms of the previous order, shall include the action taken to clear the aforesaid proposals..," the bench said and listed the matter for hearing on July 16.
The bench on the last date, June 16, made it clear that 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 complexes, shall be treated as an “attempt to impede access to justice” for the litigants and will be “viewed seriously”.
The high court was hearing a petition seeking to enlarge the functioning of courts, particularly family courts, in the prevalent times of restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The plea has sought direction to all the family courts to allow recording of evidence via video conferencing during the restricted functioning of courts owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, either by the presiding judge of the family court or by a commission.
Earlier, the high court had sought suggestions from its registrar and various bar associations on the issue of expanding the functioning of family courts, including for recording of evidence through video conferencing (VC).
The high court registrar had told the bench that the matters were being conducted in district courts via video conferencing within the limited bandwidth provided.
They had pointed out that despite repeated letters addressed by the District and Session Judge (Headquarters), Tis Hazari and the Registrar General of the high court to the Secretary (Law and Judicial), Delhi government for grant of administrative approval and sanction of expenditure for enhancement and upgradation of the existing lease lines from 34 MBPS to 1 GBPS in each district court complex except for Rouse Avenue court, no steps have been taken in that direction. PTI HMP RKS RKS
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI