Madras HC frowns on ruling parties appointing govt lawyers on the basis of loyalty to party

Chennai: Criticising the practice of ruling political parties appointing government advocates as law officers on the basis of loyalty to the party, the Madras High Court yesterday said it expects government to frame appropriate rules
madras hc frowns on ruling parties appointing...
PTI 24 Jan 2015, 09:12 AM IST

Chennai: Criticising the practice of ruling political parties appointing government advocates as law officers on the basis of loyalty to the party, the Madras High Court yesterday said it expects government to frame appropriate rules at the earliest.

“The practice of government advocates being appointed on the basis of their loyalty to the ruling party and politicians, rather than their knowledge and integrity has become normal practice. Integrity, capabilities, honesty and efficiency of lawyers have become secondary to loyalty to party in power,” said Justice N Kirubakaran.

Pointing out that there are no rules prescribing specific procedures to appoint government advocates/prosecutors, he said minimum experience, special knowledge of law and integrity should be the criteria for government lawyers.

“To make appointments in a rational manner, regulations or rules are necessary. This court expects the government to make appropriate rules at the earliest.”

The judge made the observations when a murder accused moved the court to transfer his case from Tiruchirapalli district to another court, alleging that the district prosecutor had political and other nexus with police witnesses.

However the government advocate denied it, saying the accused was seeking transfer of the case to delay proceedings.

The judge said the petitioner had not furnished any proof to support his charges. He then went into the larger issue of ‘politicization' of the appointment process, observing that a law officer should be law-knowing person. A law officer's post was not a political post but a public post with greater responsibility in administration of justice, he said.

The judge said courts, especially the High Court, could not be a silent spectator in the matter and said courts should not mechanically affix their seal of approval for candidates proposed for government law officers posts.

Slamming the practice of the entire set of law officers resigning whenever there is change of government, he said former government law officers are made to run from pillar to post to get their fees. At times, they are forced to move courts to recover dues from government, he said.

 

 
   
 

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