The Delhi High Court has created four special benches to expedite the hearing of criminal and jail appeals to be heard on Saturdays, starting tomorrow. The first such special division bench would sit tomorrow in the high court and 11 cases have been listed before it. Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal has set up the division benches of Justices Mukta Gupta and Navin Chawla, Justices Pratibha Rani and Rekha Palli, Justices S P Garg and C Hari Shankar and Justices Ashutosh Kumar and Prathiba M Singh. Justices Mukta Gupta and Navin Chawla's bench would sit tomorrow from 10:30 AM onwards. Registrar General of Delhi High Court, Dinesh Kumar Sharma said that the initiative has been taken reduce pendency and dispose of the old cases expeditiously. He said the government has been taken in the loop and their counsel have been asked to assist the court. Sharma said four additional public procecutors -- Rajat Katyal, Asha Tiwari, Rajni Gupta and Amit Gupta -- have been nominated by the standing counsel (criminal) for assisting the division benches in expeditious disposal of the appeals. The decision came after Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra recently wrote to the Chief Justices of all High Courts, urging them to constitute special benches on Saturdays to hear criminal appeals in which legal aid counsel have been provided. The CJI's letter highlights the issue of increasing pendency of cases, specially criminal appeals, due to the delay in their disposal.
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