High Court: Hire Law Officers on Contract in City’s 16 jails

Delhi HC has advised the state govt to appoint law officers on a contractual basis in the 16 jails of the capital for their better administration & smooth functioning. A bench of Chief Justice (CJ) DN Patel & Justice C Hari Shankar on Thursday made the remarks while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking appointment of one law officer in each of the 16 jails of the city in a time-bound manner.

Delhi govt, meanwhile, assured the bench that the Director General of Prisons has been consulted & the process of appointment of law officers will be set in motion soon for these jails — 9 at Tihar prison complex, 1 at Rohini complex & 6 at Mandoli prison complex.

After a brief hearing, the govt sought time to file a response to the public interest litigation (PIL) & the HC posted the matter for hearing on Sept 27.

The petition, filed by advocate Amit Sahni, argued that despite Delhi Prisons Act, 2000, mandating that there shall be a law officer in every prison, at present there is only 1 law officer for the 16 jails in the capital, who is stationed at the prison headquarters at Tihar.

It had also claimed that from Aug 2016 to Feb 2019, no law officer was appointed at the headquarters & the legal affairs were dealt with by an officer equivalent to the rank of a deputy superintendent.

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