Punjab law officers’ appointment: Advocate general’s wife, relatives of judges, politicians make it to list
Punjab AG Atul Nanda said the selections were done by an independent panel on laid down criterion. On his wife’s appointment, he said: “She is a bright candidate. I wasn’t part of the process to select the additional advocate general.”punjab Updated: Jul 01, 2017 11:05 IST
Wife of Punjab advocate general (AG) Atul Nanda, kin of some politicians and at least six former judges are among the 121 names announced by the Punjab government on Friday for appointment as law officers. These officers would be posted at the Punjab and Haryana high court and the Supreme Court.
The first list comes nearly four months after Captain Amarinder Singh government took over the reins in Punjab on March 16.
The appointees include Rameeza Hakeem (as additional advocate general) wife of Nanda; Sukhmani Bajwa, daughter of Fateh Jang Singh Bajwa who is Qadian Congress MLA; Deepali Puri, wife of Amarinder’s OSD Sandeep Sandhu (Amritsar camp office); Manjari Nehru Kaul, daughter of justice (retd) RK Nehru; and former Chandigarh mayor Anu Chatrath, daughter of former Punjab AG Gopal Krishan Chatrath.
Others include Amandeep Singh Gill, son of justice (retd) Mehtab Singh Gill; Abhay Pal Singh, son of former chief secretary Jai Singh Gill; Anu Pal, sister of serving high court judge justice Lisa Gill; Harmeet Singh Grewal, son of former AG GS Grewal.
A relative of TMC president Jagmeet Brar, Sidakmeet Sandhu; Haryana Congress leader Kuldeep Sharma’s daughter, Lavanya Paul; justice (retd) TS Doabia’s son, IPS Doabia; and justice (retd) MS Sullar’s relatives Devaki Anand Sullar and Harman Deep Sullar are also on the list.
The list includes over a dozen lawyers who were working with previous government as well. Some of them have been appointed on junior posts.
Nanda said the selections were done by an independent panel on laid down criterion. On his wife’s appointment, he said: “She is a bright candidate. I wasn’t part of the process to select the additional advocate general.”
Regarding kin factor, he said being kin of a judge or politician should not be an advantage. “But at the same time, it should not act as an impediment,” he added.
From 215 law officers appointed during the SAD-BJP regime, the number will be capped at 154. Friday’s appointments include 25 additional advocates general, 49 assistant advocates general, 30 deputy advocates general and 17 senior deputy advocates general. Nanda had recommended 123 lawyers for Chandigarh and 31 for Delhi.