Law officers’ appointment: Two former judges come out in support of Punjab Bill | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Law officers’ appointment: Two former judges come out in support of Punjab Bill

Amid the debate over the proposed criteria for the appointment of law officers at Punjab advocate general’s office in a new legislation passed by the state assembly, two retired judges have come out in the open to support the Bill and praise the government for ‘stringent’ conditions for appointment.

punjab Updated: Apr 01, 2017 11:00 IST
HT Correspondent
(HT Representative Image)

Amid the debate over the proposed criteria for the appointment of law officers at Punjab advocate general’s office in a new legislation passed by the state assembly, two retired judges have come out in the open to support the Bill and praise the government for ‘stringent’ conditions for appointment.

While the one of them said the chief minister and advocate general should be “saluted” for being brave, the other said the move will curb appointments done under “recommendations.”

“It is a wonderful Bill. I salute the CM and the AG who have done this. Talent must prevail in government appointments and undeserved must not get a place,” justice GR Majithia (retired) said, while adding that in the recent years, the appointments have been compromised.

Also read:HT face to face | No question of ‘importing’ law officers: Punjab AG Atul Nanda

Another retired judge, former chief justice VK Bali said that it was a bold move and the government and advocate general should be appreciated. “It will lessen the chances of ‘sifarishi’ (on recommendation) appointments. If you have put in certain number of years into profession and still practicing, it means you have some knowledge of law. So there should not be any criticism of government enhancing minimum experience,” justice Bali added.

“There will be some appointments on other considerations, but if you have criterion like this in place, chances are you will get a good law officer,” he added.

The earlier criteria mandated a practice of 10 years for additional advocate general, seven for deputy advocate general and three for assistant advocate general. But the new Bill proposes a minimum annual income of Rs 20 lakh and 20 years’ practice for senior additional advocate general; Rs 15-lakh income and 16 years’ practice for additional advocate general, Rs 10-lakh income and 14 years’ practice for senior deputy advocate general, Rs 7-lakh income and 10 years’ practice for deputy advocate general, and Rs 3.5-lakh income and three years’ practice for assistant advocate general.

However, a section of lawyers at the high court termed the conditions will help import lawyers from Delhi, which had remained the base of advocate general Atul Nanda during the past decade. The enhanced conditions of experience and setting high annual income criterion are being termed as a move to help “rich and experienced lawyers.”