Do gods sit in the cabinet meeting and decide the issues or is the cabinet something beyond the heaven which can’t deal with a relevant issue, the Delhi High Court today said expressing annoyance at the Centre’s delay in sanctioning additional police for the national capital.
“Do some gods sit in the cabinet meeting and decide the issues or the cabinet is something beyond heaven which can’t even deal with a relevant issue,” a bench comprising Justice B D Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said.
The bench’s observation came after Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain submitted that an interministerial cabinet note is being prepared on the issue of additional police force in the national capital.
“As a judge and as a person, I am very dejected with the way the matter is dealt (with) by the Centre and concerned authorities. You all are killing your people. These very people elected you. Everyday, incidents of crime are reported against women, child and senior citizen,” Justice Ahmed said.
The bench also pulled up the bureaucracy, saying what kind of officials were they that they can’t prepare a note in six weeks for the cabinet.
“What set of bureaucrats are there that they can’t prepare a proper cabinet note in six weeks while lawyers can prepare a petition in one night. Even judges write thousand pages judgement, then why can’t these officials prepare a three-page note..What kind of efficiency is this?” the bench asked.
The bench said it was absolutely disappointed with the way the issue was being dealt with despite the earlier orders of the court.
“Delhi Police has submitted they need additional forces to provide proper security to the people of Delhi and even the Ministry of Home Affairs has seconded their view. Then why the matter is stuck between interministerial discussions on a cabinet note?” it said.
The bench asked the central government to file an affidavit by the next date of hearing on whether it has funds to create additional force or not and secondly whether it intends to create the additional force or not.
The court also asked the central government to explain why the cabinet note has not been prepared till now and posted the matter for further hearing on December 21.
On the issue of installing CCTV cameras in the national
capital, Delhi government told the court that a decision has been taken to install the cameras in entire Delhi including 44 vulnerable police station areas.
It said that a status report will be filed in one week regarding installation of CCTV cameras in the national capital.
The court was also informed that a standard operating procedure has been adopted for operating one-stop centres to provide assistance to the victims of crimes against women and such centres have been functional in all district courts except Patiala House Court.
It was told that such one-stop centre will also be coming up at Woman and Child Development department of Delhi government, Delhi Commission of Woman, Delhi Police and Health and Family Welfare department of Delhi government.
On October 14, the court had told the Centre that while it follows austerity measures regarding increasing the number of personnel in Delhi Police, it should ensure that life and liberty issues “do not take a backseat”.
The court had also “impressed upon” the central government to give due credence to its observation regarding increase of policemen saying safety and security of people in Delhi, especially women and children, was the “crying need of the hour”.
The bench had expressed the hope that decisions would be taken by the government at the earliest, after it was told by the Union Home Ministry that since the increase in Delhi Police personnel and bifurcation of criminal investigation from law and order would entail an expenditure of Rs 483.56 crore per annum, Cabinet approval was necessary.
The Home Ministry also told the court that it would be preparing the note for approval by the Cabinet and the whole process was expected to take four weeks.
Earlier, the court had issued notice to the Centre and Delhi government on a plea filed by advocate Gaurav Bansal who has sought “laying down of directives to prevent sexual abuse of school-going children in the national capital”.
Bansal had filed the application in the PIL initiated by the court after the December 16 gangrape incident in which it has been giving directions on the issues of appointing more police personnel, additional forensic labs and setting up of a victim compensation fund.