Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed Maharashtra government to appoint Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) here as an agency to submit a project report on uploading state Acts and amendments on the government website.
A bench, headed by Justice Abhay Oka, hearing a petition, also directed that the IIT should design a comprehensive programme to upload bare Acts on government website immediately after it is passed or an amendment is carried out.
The IIT has been asked to carry out the task as expeditiously as possible.
The bench also directed that all the existing state Acts should be uploaded on government website in six months.
As per existing rules, the government has to invite tenders for carrying out a project costing over Rs 3 lakhs.
However, in this case, the high court directed that the state can ignore the tender process and straight away appoint the IIT as the agency to submit a report on uploading Acts on its website.
The high court also made it clear that in future when a new Act is framed or an amendment carried out in any Act, it should be uploaded on the website in two days.
The bench also said that the state should make available a copy of the Act or the amendment to the High Court library.
The high court named the Joint Secretary of Law and Judiciary department as the officer responsible for implementing the process of uploading Acts on government website.
It was hearing a petition filed by High Court administration seeking certain facilities for the courts.
On behalf of the High Court administration, senior counsel S R Nargolkar argued that copies of the Acts published by the government are often not available in the courts and the judges cannot rely on privately-published Acts because they may contain mistakes. Hence it is necessary to upload the provisions of the Acts on government website, he argued.
The petition also seeks separate enclosures in courts for the minors who are examined under Protection of Children from
Sexual Offences Act.
Currently, a minor witness/victim has to depose while facing the accused. This can put the child under pressure and inhibit him or her from telling the truth, Nargolkar said.
The petition also demands round-the-clock security in every court, saying that documents and seized evidence material stored in courts must be guarded.
The government said steps were being taken to provide 24-hour security. CCTV cameras were installed in Bandra court here and there was a proposal to provide them in other courts all over the state.
The next hearing would be on March 2.