By Sushil Batra
New Delhi [India], May 17 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to the Delhi government on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking directions to provide an effective safeguard to lives of the public prosecutors and other staff of the prosecution department of the Government of NCT of Delhi and their respective family members suffering from COVID-19.
The plea also sought direction to establish a dedicated COVID center having at least 100 beds with ICU/ventilator facility for Public Prosecutors and other staff of the prosecution department of the Government of NCT of Delhi including their family members, on an urgent basis.
The bench of Justice DN Patel and Jyoti Singh on Monday sought responses from respondents and slated the matter for June 4, 2021.
The petitioner Dishank Dhawan, who filed the plea through Advocate Shalabh Gupta, stated that the public prosecutors and staff of the prosecution department have been attending the court proceedings not only post resumption of Courts physically in March 2021 but also during the period of lockdown.
The public prosecutors and other staff of the prosecution department have been risking exposure to the deadly novel coronavirus each day but are still serving the State as an important component of the criminal justice system with utmost dedication and sincerity, read the petition.
Senior Advocate KTS Tulsi, who appeared for the petitioner, submitted that two public prosecutors have already lost their lives recently, so there is an urgent need for setting up a mechanism by which the public prosecutors and other staff of the prosecution department, and their respective family members get appropriate treatment and admission in an establishment/ earmarked facility for COVID-19.
The plea added that the second wave has taken almost everyone under its umbrella especially those who were constantly dealing with the public lately, adding that Public Prosecutors and other staff of the prosecution department of the Government of NCT of Delhi have been widely affected due to public contact on regular basis amid the pandemic. It further stated that most of the Public Prosecutors of all districts and their family members are COVID positive right now and are fighting for oxygen and hospital beds.
The petitioner sought the direction of the Court to save Public Prosecutors so that the criminal system of our country is not miserably hampered and other officers affected can be given timely treatment.
"Many others were unable to secure beds in the hospitals of Delhi and had to move to far-flung places. The representation in this regard has also been given to the Chief secretary, director of the prosecution, GNCTD, and Health Secretary, GNCTD on email but no action has been taken yet," the plea read. (ANI)