Corridors of Power Delhi

Ahead of Bar elections, High Court sees turf war

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The head of the Delhi High Court Bar Association has written to the Chief Justice highlighting the issues lawyers face

Ahead of the elections to the Delhi High Court Bar Association (HCBA), its president Rajiv Khosla has raised grievances of the Bar with Chief Justice G. Rohini, highlighting many pending issues. The matters range from construction of chambers for lawyers to a centralised filing counter and designation of senior advocates.

In a letter to the Chief Justice, Mr. Khosla has said the High Court’s Building Maintenance Committee is trying to “occupy every inch” of the Court premises for the staff and administration, denying adequate space to lawyers for chambers, library, cubicles and a canteen. It said the lawyers were forced to have lunch in shifts due to paucity of space in the main canteen, while the administrative block had a lot of space after digitisation of court records.

The High Court’s mediation cell requires “complete transparency”, whereby cases should be marked on a rotation basis, stated the letter. A separate web link should be introduced to show the names of local commissioners and arbitrators to avoid arbitrariness in their appointment. The HCBA has also mooted live telecast of court proceedings on the High Court’s official website to ensure less congestion in court rooms and impart speedy justice. This will enhance the image of the institution in the High Court’s golden jubilee year, according to Mr. Khosla.

Some sections of the Bar, however, have raised questions about the timing of the letter. Raising grievances in the run-up to the HCBA elections may invite charges of trying to get an edge in the contest and not generate the expected response, feel some lawyers.

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Amidst the overwhelming number of applications that the Centre has received to fill the posts of Chairman and Managing Director of India’s largest power generation company, NTPC, one applicant is a leading person from Delhi’s power sector. According to sources, the Chairman and MD of distribution company Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL), Praveer Sinha, is in the race for the top position.

Centrally-run NTPC Limited has had the post of Chairman and MD lying vacant for almost two months. The government has received over 100 applications as compared to a mere 10 that were received the last time these posts fell vacant. Filling the position at this juncture is important as the company has mega expansion plans in the pipeline, promising cheap and uninterrupted power supply to everyone by 2020.

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Over a year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Swachh Bharat Mission on October 2, 2014, Delhi’s financially-restrained municipalities will be getting additional funds to carry out works under the sanitation drive.

Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu announced on Sunday that the Capital’s civic bodies would be getting Rs.96 crore to make the city cleaner. However, as they came together to launch the Swachh Delhi app last week, the Aam Aadmi Party government told the BJP-led South Delhi Municipal Corporation that it would get funds for the sanitation drive.

According to sources, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia told SDMC Mayor Subhash Arya that the civic body would get the funds as its sanitation work was up to the mark, as opposed to the North and East civic bodies.

Of course, all three corporations will get their share of the Rs.96 crore cheque. But SDMC officials, nonetheless took Mr.Sisodia’s comment as a compliment.

—Compiled by Mohammed Iqbal, Sweta Goswami, Damini Nath

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 8:49:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/ahead-of-bar-elections-high-court-sees-turf-war/article7907111.ece

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