Mumbai civic body to hire law firms to improve reputation, cut cost
This is the first time the BMC wants to sign contracts with law firms for technical assistance, as opposed to lone lawyers fighting civic casesUpdated: Nov 29, 2017 23:01 IST
In order to buff up its legal team, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) wants to hire five law firms with expertise in various subjects to help the civic body tackle pressing legal matters. The BMC expects such firms to help it work on cost cutting, time management, and reputation building.
The firms will provide research and expertise on important civic issues such as solid waste management and the Deonar dumping ground issue, open spaces, and certain property disputes, all of which are sub-judice and cost BMC precious time and money.
This is the first time the BMC wants to sign contracts with law firms for technical assistance, as opposed to lone lawyers fighting civic cases. Nidhi Choudhari, deputy municipal commissioner in-charge of the legal department, said, “There are many issues — sub-judice and otherwise — which are time consuming. The BMC lands up losing money when resolution on such issues is delayed. The outcome of such cases also determines the impact on BMC’s reputation. In such cases, we need a bunch of legal experts, including senior lawyers who will give us opinions, junior lawyers who can run around and complete field work, and other officials to process paper work. These resources are available with law firms.”
BMC has invited expression of interest to hire five such firms to handle civil and criminal cases in the Bombay High Court, the Supreme Court, and other tribunals. If all goes according to plan, BMC will have signed these contracts within 4-5 months.
Last month, the BMC advertised to hire 100 senior lawyers to deal with a backlog of 91,000 cases. A senior civic official said, “BMC is looking at a two-fold purpose. The first is to clear the backlog and the second is to have a dedicated team of lawyers to provide expertise on complicated, sensitive, and pressing civic issues. We need a law firm for cases that need a lot more than a single lawyer working on them. We will simultaneously hire independent lawyers to clear the backlog.”
First Published: Nov 29, 2017 23:01 IST