Day after Capt’s exit, advocate general Atul Nanda resigns
A day after Captain Amarinder Singh’s resignation as the Punjab chief minister, state advocate general Atul Nanda also put in his papers on Sunday.
On coming to power in 2017, Amarinder had handpicked Nanda, a senior advocate in the Supreme Court, as the state government’s top law officer. Nanda had defended Amarinder in a string of criminal cases registered against him during the Parkash Singh Badal-led Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP government between 2007 and 2017.
“My appointment as advocate general was co-terminus with his (Amarinder) appointment, and also according to constitutional convention, I have tendered my resignation,” a message sent out by Nanda to the state’s law officers’ team said.
Tenure mired in controversies
Nanda’s stint as the advocate general has been mired in controversies as it was on his watch that the government suffered major legal setbacks on politically-sensitive sacrilege and police firing cases of 2015 and recently in cases against former director general of police Sumedh Singh Saini.
He was criticised by the ruling Congress ministers and leaders, many of them Amarinder’s detractors, for steering clear of personally representing in the key cases in the Punjab and Haryana high court and instead hiring lawyers from Delhi. Both state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and party’s Rajya Sabha member Partap Singh had demanded Nanda’s resignation, accusing him of shoddy legal defence in critical cases.