Published On: Mon, Oct 23rd, 2017

HC dismisses plea challenging appointment of govt counsel

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has rejected a plea challenging the recent appointments of Delhi government’s standing counsel and a panel of counsel for the court and the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT).

Justice Vibhu Bakhru

“In the event the concerned department and/or Council of Ministers are aggrieved by on account of non-consultation with them, it would be open for them to agitate the said issue,” Justice Vibhu Bakhru said and dismissed the petition.

The high court said it was not inclined to entertain the controversy whether the council of ministers of Delhi government were consulted at the time of appointments.

“This court is also not inclined to entertain the controversy whether the Council of Ministers of the Government of NCT/the Department of Law have been consulted in this petition.

“In the event the concerned department and/or Council of Ministers are aggrieved by on account of non-consultation with them, it would be open for them to agitate the said issue,” Justice Vibhu Bakhru said and dismissed the petition.

The court also said the matter relating to appointments as standing counsel and other counsel to represent Delhi government was strictly a matter of discretion of the state government and there was no vested right for any person to insist on such appointments.

The petition, filed by advocate Snehashish Mukherjee, challenged the September 26 notifications by which the appointments of standing counsel for the Delhi Government and certain other departments was notified.

Advocate Khagesh Jha, appearing for the petitioner, said the advertisement was given on September 14 and the last date of submission of applications was October 3.

He argued that the notifications appointing the standing counsel and other panel counsel to represent Delhi government in the high court and the CAT were issued before the last date.

He claimed that the notifications were illegal and the appointments notified were liable to be set aside, as these were irregular because the council of ministers were not consulted.

The court, however, said that the advertisement issued on September 14 had invited applications for appointment to a panel of counsel and notwithstanding that the last date of submission of applications had not elapsed, the government cannot be interdicted from making any appointment at its discretion.

“Admittedly, it is not necessary that advertisements be issued for such appointments,” it said.

PTI

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