The Delhi High Court today sought the stand of the Delhi government and Director General Prisons on a PIL to fill up various vacant posts in jails here and asked the authorities to initiate the process of recruitment.

A Bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla issued notice on the plea by a lawyer and sought a status report from the respondents concerning the sanctioned strength and status of vacancies in prisons.

The respondents must immediately initiate the process of filling vacancies, if not already initiated, and expedite the process, the Court said.

Advocate Amit Sahni claimed that the Delhi Prisons are facing a staff shortage of over 20 per cent and urged the court to issue directions to the authorities to fill vacancies of medical officers, welfare officers, counsellors, teachers, vocational counsellors, etc.

The plea has stated that although there are about 18,000 prisoners lodged in jails and the requirement of guarding staff is 3000, there is an "acute shortage" of guarding staff which results in hindrance in prison administration.

The petition has also prayed for the constitution of the Board of Visitors, Service Board, State Advisory Board, and Prison Development Board in terms of the Delhi Prison Act 2000 and Delhi Prison Rules 2018, in the larger interest of prisoners lodged in Delhi jails and the prison administration.

The matter would be heard next in July.

With PTI inputs