Madras High Court on Saturday said even the proposal submitted in 2007 to increase the strength of Judges from 48 to 60 was sanctioned only in 2015.
Chennai: Finding fault with Tamil Nadu government in not sanctioning required staff to the judiciary, the Madras High Court on Saturday said even the proposal submitted in 2007 to increase the strength of Judges from 48 to 60 was sanctioned only in 2015 after an eight-year gap.
Passing an interim order on a PIL filed by Tamil Nadu Judicial Ministerial Officers Association, the first bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana, perused the government affidavit, with details of compensatory allowance, for which proposal was awaited for Court staff deputed to attend Lok Adalats on holidays.
"We are of the view that there is no question of proposal being awaited in this behalf as calculation is based on five per cent of the basic pay as and when they attend the duty for such adalats on holidays," the bench said.
The court recalled it had given a direction during the last Lok Adalat on December 12, 2015 that the Government Order be issued in this respect to ensure that the benefit goes to the staff. "Our direction has been clearly violated."
The HC then directed government to issue G.O in a week.
On increase in HC staff strength, it referred to the further required increase of strength of judges to 75 and said the necessary increase in staff strength would be required for the additional number of Judges.
On allocation of houses to staff, the bench said they had made it clear even earlier that though the Shetty Commission had recommended reserving 15 per cent of the accommodation for for judicial staff, they were not insisting on the figure only because the idea is not to keep accommodation vacant.
"However simultaneously there can be no reason that the requirement of the judiciary cannot be satisfied to the full, when much less than 15 per cent of the accommodation is sought by the judiciary."
Making it clear that no special treatment is sought for staff in allocation of houses, the bench said at least 15 per cent of such accommodation in priority in government quarters should be given to the judiciary.
If many flats are not vacant, necessary arrangements have to be made for all vacant accommodation in these areas as and when they arise, to be allotted only to the judiciary till such time as the 15 per cent parameter is reached, it said.
Observing that it cannot be that staff do not get any allocation in priority areas and are sought to be 'dumped' in less priority areas, the bench made it clear that no government accommodation will be allotted in breach of these norms.
The HC then granted two months time to the Government Pleader to fulfill the requirements and posted the matter to March 11 for further hearing.