Shillong May 19: A Division Bench of the Meghalaya High Court has pulled up the State Government for shoddy handling of criminal cases in the court.
“We are constrained to put on record total dissatisfaction on this state of affairs as regards the conduct of criminal matters in the High Court of Meghalaya on the part of the state government,” Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Judge Ved Prakash Vaish said yesterday.
Hearing a case related to the jurisdiction of the High Court over district council courts, the Division Bench also took exception to the delay in appointing public prosecutors to deal with cases in the High Court.
In response, S Sen Gupta, who appeared as government Advocate, said the government had taken up the process of appointment of public prosecutors in the High Court. However, the court pointed out that the reply of the law department regarding appointment was cryptic.
In the letter, the law department had stated the names of five persons for appointment, besides mentioning that ‘concurrence’ of the High Court was necessary before issuance of the final list or notification. “It is noticed that such a letter is prima facie questionable and objectionable were none of the requisite particulars of the persons sought to be appointed as public prosecutors are stated and the registry of this court had to seek the requisite particulars from the state government by the letter issued on May 17,” the court said.
While Sen Gupta said the government was taking up all the appropriate corrective measures, the court said it was difficult to appreciate that in the first place, the process of proper appointment of public prosecutors was not dealt with seriously by the state government.
“Even after being indicated on its faults, a cryptic letter was sent on behalf of the government to the registrar general of this court, bereft of any particulars, wherein, instead of ‘consultation’ with the High Court as required under Section 24 CrPC, it was suggested as if ‘concurrence’ of the High Court is being sought. We have taken serious exception firstly against the total apathy on the part of the state government in not attending on the statutory requirements and secondly, over the cryptic manner in which the things are proposed to the High Court without due regard to the requirements of law,” the court added.