HC irked at no-show of Delhi government in hearings

New Delhi, May 19 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Tuesday pulled up the city government for panelled lawyers not appearing in court during numerous hearings and also took a dig at the locking of the office of an IAS officer at the Delhi Secretariat.

Amid the tussle over appointment of bureaucrats between Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the Aam Aadmi Party government on Monday locked the office of an IAS officer at the Delhi Secretariat.

“We (people) wanted a better government. Look what’s happening. Instead of doing work and answering the questions, you locked up the office,” a division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw remarked.

During the hearing of a case related to admission of economically weaker section (EWS) category students in minority schools, the bench wanted to know the stand of the Delhi government on the issue, but the absence of standing counsel triggered the court’s ire.

Irked at the non-representation of the city government during numerous hearings, the bench in an oral observation said: “No one appears for the Delhi government. Every time we have to send an invitation.”

When the court master was about to send a staff member to call a representative of the Delhi government, he saw the government’s standing counsel Raman Duggal sitting beside other counsel in the courtroom.

As the court asked the standing counsel for his response in the case, Duggal said he was not prepared to answer any queries related to the case.

“There are more than 9,000 files, they are not completed also. So we are facing difficulty. But during court vacation, we will look into all the files and after vacation we will be prepared for every matter,” Duggal said.

To this, the bench said: “How many days would you take? Every time when there is a change in government, we never faced this problem. Why no one appears to represent Delhi government?”

It directed counsel to be present in case hearings in future.

“Be here in cases. In every case, we can’t go on calling you,” the bench remarked.


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