Lucknow: The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court Thursday sought to know from the Uttar Pradesh government, the criterion of appointing government counsel.
A bench of Justice Imtiyaz Murtaza and Justice DK Upadhyaya, while hearing public interest litigation, asked the government to respond within a week and set Jan 3 as the next date of hearing.
Hearing the PIL filed by social activist Nutan Thakur seeking an end to the state government`s political appointment of government counsels in an arbitrary manner, the bench asked the state government to explain how government counsels are presently being appointed to represent the state in the Supreme Court, the high court and various tribunals.
The petitioner has contended that government counsel`s "perform extremely important and sensitive public duty so as to safeguard the legal interests of the state in these higher courts, yet there was chaos and confusion right from additional advocate general to the standing counsel".
"Even the number of such government counsels in not known and these appointments are done completely on political and extraneous considerations," Thakur said.
She further added that "the government counsels have no specified duty charter, no performance appraisal system is there and they are not accountable".
The PIL also questions the rationale behind private counsel being appointed in special cases on exorbitant fees when standing counsels are in ample number.