The Telangana High Court issued a circular directing all judicial officers to follow court timings and punctuality scrupulously and render devoted service.

The circular reads, “Attention of all the Unit Heads and Judicial Officers is invited to the letter and circular in the reference 1st and 2nd cited, whereby they were directed to follow the court hours strictly from 10.30 AM to 2.00 PM and from 2.30 to 5.00 PM, and not to leave the court premises during the lunch hours, engaging themselves with judicial work by posting sufficient number of cases every day.”

The Court has reiterated the instructions issued by it earlier saying that axiomatically, punctuality is the hallmark of any discipline, especially in Judicial wing and any deviation to such cardinal principle shakes the confidence of litigant public in the institution.

“… vide reference 3rd and 4th cited while reiterating the instructions already issued, all the Unit Heads and the Judicial Officers were directed to observe the court timings, punctuality and render devoted service during the court hours, to improve their disposals in order to bring down accumulated pendency and to achieve positive results. The Unit Heads were also required to find out innovative methods permissible under law and chalk out action plan after having deliberations with the Officers working in their Unit and to motivate them to improve the disposals”, says the circular.

“… when specific instances were brought to the notice of the High Court reference 6th cited circular was issued reminding all the Unit Heads and the Judicial Officers, that they being the pillars of Administration of Justice are expected to discharge the Judicial functions to the best of their onus and to the expectation of the litigant public and directed to strictly adhere to the circular instructions issued by the High Court from time to time for maintaining the punctuality of the court timings”, it further read.

It also mentioned that in order to stream line the functions and punctuality of the District Judiciary in the State in adhering the court hours and also to ensure that the earlier instructions issued by the High Court are followed scrupulously in reference 7th, 9th and 13th cited, a proforma is prepared and all the Judicial officers were requested to forward the duly filled-in forms to the concerned District Judge periodically to bring transparency in functioning of the courts, ensuring active participation of all the Judicial Officers in collective endeavour of disposal of good number of cases.

“Vide reference 10th and 11th circulars the Judicial Officers were directed to observe office timings and punctuality in holding the public courts and to refrain from leaving the Head Quarters during weekends without permission of High Court except in case of emergency. The Unit Heads were also directed to implement the circular 7th cited scrupulously and report compliance from time to time as indicated therein”, it says.

The circular stated that despite issuance of instructions regarding observance of office timings and punctuality in holding public courts from 10.30 A.M. to 5.00 P.M. with lunch recess from 2.00 PM to 2.30 PM, it has come to the notice of the High Court that many of the Presiding Officers in District Judiciary are not strictly following the office timings and attending the Bench late, leaving for their residence during lunch recess and also leaving the court premises before 5.00 PM or frequently leaving the Head Quarters without permission of the Hon'ble High Court.

“It is needless to say that non-observance of the working hours as prescribed leads to indiscipline, decrease in the rate of disposal of cases and affects the performance of Judicial Officers both qualitatively and quantitatively. … Therefore, the High Court while reiterating the circular instructions under the references cited, hereby directs all the Judicial Officers to follow the court timings, punctuality scrupulously and render devoted service, do the entire judicial work on the bench during court hours. All the Unit Heads are further directed to ensure that the circular instructions in the reference 1 to 15 cited (enclosed) are followed by the officers working under their control in true letter and spirit without any deviation”, it directed.

It said that instances of violation of above instructions will be viewed seriously and will entail initiation of disciplinary action against the officers concerned.