The Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi government to ensure an OTP based system is in place on the Online Single Window System (OSWS) portal for seamless processing of payment of professional fees to empanelled lawyers.

The High Court noted that in August 2020 it had directed the authorities to clear the pending bills of standing counsel but it has not been done so far, and said that this exercise shall conclude positively before December 12, the next date of hearing.

The Court was hearing a petition field by Piyush Gupta, represented by Advocate Rakohit Pandey ventilating grievances about non-payment of professional fee or retainership fee bills of empanelled lawyers outstanding for a long time.

Delhi government's standing counsel Santosh Kumar Tripathi informed the court the new OSWS portal has become operational for payment of professional fees to the standing counsel but added the process is still lengthy and burdensome.

He submitted an OTP (one time password) based system should be made available on the OSWS portal which will reduce the time spent on approving the bills.

A Bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad ordered, "Resultantly, the State is directed to ensure that some provision of OTP based signature is made available as the present process is cumbersome and defeats the purpose of seamless submission of bills. Let the same be done within four weeks' from today."

The Bench, in its October 6 order, said the authorities shall make all endeavour to clear the bills which are pending till date.

Cause Title: Piyush Gupta v. Govt of NCT of Delhi & Ors.

Click here to read/download Order

With PTI inputs