New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the Delhi Government to file a response on a plea seeking the appointment of law officers in all jails in the national capital.
A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani asked the Delhi Government and Director General of Prisons to file a reply and listed the matter for further hearing on August 29.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation moved by advocate Amit Sahni who has sought directions to Delhi Government to ensure compliance of Section 6 of the Delhi Prison Act, 2000, by appointing one law officer for every jail in Delhi.
The Act mandates that there shall be a law officer, a superintendent, a deputy superintendent, a medical officer and a welfare officer for every jail.
Sahni said that except for law officers, all other appointments have been complied with.
There are 16 jails in Delhi in three prison complexes-- Tihar, Rohini and Mandoli. Tihar includes nine jails, Rohini has one, while the Mandoli prison complex has six jails.
Sahni`s petition said that there was no law officer in Prison Headquarters from August 2016 to February 2019 and legal affairs were dealt by an officer equivalent to the rank of deputy superintendent.
Currently, one law officer is handling legal issues for all the 16 jails in Delhi.
The petitioner said that the law officer`s work is to supervise all legal matters, drafting and filing replies to court notices, and follow up on day-to-day outcomes of court cases.
Sahni also told the court that he had made a representation on April 1 to the Delhi government and the Director General of Tihar Jail, but no action had been taken so far.