The Captain Amarinder Singh-led Congress government, which took over the Punjab reins on March 16, has finalised a panel of lawyers for Supreme Court with a number of Congress leaders and son of Chief Justice of India JS Khehar on board.
These lawyers will defend the state, primarily in the Supreme Court and Delhi tribunals on case-to-case basis. The panel has 76 lawyers, including Congress leaders Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Kapil Sibal, P Chidamabaram, Salman Khurshid and Manish Tewari. Kin of three Supreme Court judges — Tarunvir Kehar, son of Chief Justice JS Khehar, Raktim Gogoi, son of justice Ranjan Gogoi and Saket Sikri, son of justice AK Sikri — also find place in the panel.
The panel also has senior Supreme Court lawyers. These include attorney general Mukul Rohatgi, solicitor general of India Ranjit Kumar, AK Ganguli, Dushyant Dave, Fali S Nariman, Gopal Subramanium, Indira Jaising, KK Venugopal and Ram Jethmalani.
The list also includes justice VK Bali (retd) and his son Puneet Bali, Akshay Bhan, son of former Supreme Court judge justice Ashok Bhan (retd) and senior advocate APS Deol, who had appeared in a number of cases of Amarinder. Sangram Singh, son of Punjab and Haryana high court judge, justice SS Saron, Rameeza Hakim, wife of advocate general Atul Nanda also figure on the list.
Deepinder Singh Patwalia, son of former SC judge, justice Kuldip Singh (retd), has turned down the government offer.
Others on the list are Jasjit Singh Bedi, senior advocate at Chandigarh and son of justice HS Bedi (retd), Sudhir Nandrajog, and Aman Nadrajog, who are related to chief justice of Rajasthan high court P Nandrajog, and Gurmehar Sistani, son of justice GS Sistani, a Delhi high court judge.
All advocates will be paid per appearance. In the first category of 25 lawyers, senior advocates of the SC will be paid Rs 3.3 lakh per appearance besides Rs 1.1 lakh as clerkage and Rs 1.1 lakh as drafting charges.
In second group of 17 lawyers, including those from Chandigarh, will be paid Rs 2.2 lakh per hearing, in addition to Rs 55,000 as clerkage and another Rs 55, 000 as drafting charges.
The third category of 10 lawyers, including Congress leader Manish Tewari, will be paid Rs 55,000 per hearing with Rs 25,000 for clerkage and 22,000 as drafting charges.
The fourth-category lawyers (24), including kin of judges, will be paid Rs 35,000 per appearance with Rs 11,000 as clerkage and Rs 15,000 as drafting charges. All engagements will be done by advocate general on case-to-case basis. The names of regular panel members, who would appear on day-to-day basis, will be notified later as the government is yet to advertise the posts.
Punjab advocate general Atul Nanda said lawyers, finalised by the government, would appear in specially marked cases of “important nature” and not in routine matters. “80-85% lawyers are those who were on the panel during the previous regime also. There is no major change,” he said, adding that the government has also not effected any change in fee to be paid to any of these lawyers.