AG’s Dept. handicapped by shortage of 600 officers

Dearth of JMOs also causes delays in judicial process

By Saman Indrajith

Justice Minister Ali Sabry PC told Parliament yesterday that a severe shortage of officials in the Attorney General’s Department had been the main cause of delay in completing criminal cases.

Responding to a question by SJB Badulla District MP Chamara Sampath Dassanayake, the minister said that there was a shortage of around 600 law officers and staff officers in the department.

Minister Sabry said that 50 lawyers would be recruited to the department to strengthen its counselling processes.

He said that he was aware of the fact that people had been facing inconveniences owing to delays.

The Minister said that many reasons had contributed to the delay of cases, one of them being that the country did not have enough courts.

In addition, a dearth of judicial medical officers, their transfers, limited number of officials at the Government Analyst’s Department, the number of cases an officer had to handle a day, and the health conditions of some accused too had contributed to the delays, he said.

The Attorney General too had recommended that observations of the Judicial Services Commission be considered in taking action to prevent laws delays, the Justice Minister said.

The Attorney General had also pointed out that the number of law officers had not been increased while the number of criminal cases was on the rise, the minister said.

Thank you

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