Delhi government departments are crying for more manpower “because of failure of authorities to recruit”, the Delhi High Court has observed while taking up a PIL on vacancies.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar made the oral observation during a hearing of a PIL highlighting a “huge gap” in the existing and sanctioned strength of officers in the enforcement cadre of the transport department in the Delhi government.

The moment the plea came up for hearing before the bench, it issued a notice to the Delhi government and its transport department asking them to file their response before April 18 next year.

“Finally one PIL on the issue. The government departments are crying because of failure of the authorities to recruit more people,” the bench observed.

The public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Deepak Juneja, a medico, through advocate Ayush Arora, has sought an increase in the sanctioned strength of enforcement cadre of transport department in proportion to the increase in vehicular population.

The enforcement cadre of the department comprises six ranks of officers namely (in the order of superior to junior rank) Enforcement Officer, Inspector, Sub-Inspector, Assistant Sub-Inspector, Head Constable and Constable.

The enforcement cadre is empowered to prosecute vehicles violating the provisions of the Central Motor Vehicles Act (CMVA), Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR) and the Delhi Motor Vehicle Rules (DMVR).

The petitioner told the court that information obtained through multiple Right to Information (RTI) applications revealed that the present strength of the enforcement cadre is 186 personnel in all ranks combined, as against the combined sanctioned strength of 815.

“Thus 619 positions or 77 percent of the combined sanctioned strength are currently vacant and the above situation has been lingering since at least 2008 or 9 years,77 for which the information is available,” the petition said.

The issue is of public importance since the ratio of the number of sanctioned law enforcement officers to the number of vehicles is extremely low, the plea said.

Such large and long pending vacancies further lower the ratio and help to create and aggravate an atmosphere of indiscipline and lawlessness on the roads by errant drivers and are also responsible for extremely high vehicular-borne pollution, it alleged.

It said that adequate manpower is necessary to tackle all violations on roads and highways and to also nab polluting vehicles.

The PIL prayed that records be called from the Transport Department, GNCTD pertaining to the recruitment of enforcement cadre of the transport department and it is directed to fill the vacancies on an urgent basis within a fixed time limit. PTI PPS SKV HMP AG