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HARYANA-House committee halts law officers’ appointment

January 14, 2020 06:24 AM

Asks AG To Wait Till Decision On Reservation Is Taken By Govt


The muchawaited list of law officers to be appointed in the office of the Haryana advocate general (AG) may be delayed for some more time as the state assembly’s committee has asked the government not to go ahead with the selection till a decision on the issue of quota in such engagements was taken.

A letter in this regard has been sent by the Haryana legislative assembly secretariat on behalf of the House Committee on Welfare of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes to the additional chief secretary for home and the AG on January 9.

The committee wants the AG office should implement reservation in the contractual engagements of the law officers in the rank of additional advocate general, deputy advocate general and assistant advocate general.

On January 1, the committee had sent a communication to the state government asking to provide quota to reserved categories in the appointment of the law officers in AG office in accordance with the Article 335 of the Constitution. The government is yet to take a decision on the committee's recommendations.

“Since the matter of implementation of the reservation policy of the government in the appointment of post of law officers in under consideration pending with the committee as well as the government, the AG and the government should keep the matter regarding appointment of law officers pending till a final decision on committee’s recommendation is taken,” says the letter written on behalf of Vidhan Sabha secretary.

The letter addressed to the ACS (home) and the AG has also conveyed that the committee was working in the capacity of ‘Mini House’ in the absence of the session and “recommendation of the committee are likely to be considered as a recommendation of the House.”

When contacted, Haryana advocate general Baldev Raj Mahajan told TOI that the issue regarding recommendations of the Vidhan Sabha committee has to be decided by the government. “We will go ahead with the appointment of law officers as per the instructions received from the state government on the issue,” Mahajan added. He, however, refused to comment regarding introduction of quota in appointment of law officers.

On the condition of anonymity, a senior advocate, however, said that the introduction of quota in appointment of law officers neither possible nor required because such engagement of lawyers is temporary and for a specific period. “This is not a permanent employment but for the time being and for that some technical criteria has been fixed in which all those meeting (irrespective of those falling under any category/quota) are covered, ” he added.

Sources confirmed appointments of law officers in the state AG office were never made through any advertisements, but only a list of lawyers engaged by the state government was released by the new government.

It was the first time that an advertisement for engagement of 90 law officers in the AG office was issued this time. As per the new criteria, those lawyers conducting practice before the district court are not eligible to apply this time.

Similarly, the experience of practice as an advocate has also been fixed as 12, eight and five years and they should have conducted at least 55, 35 and 25 cases to become eligible for appointment on the post of additional, deputy and assistant AG, respectively. The cases should have been conducted only in the Punjab and Haryana high court or before the Supreme court.

A total of around 1,700 applications have been received for appointment on 90 posts. The law officers are temporarily engaged by the state government for a particular period and represents the state government on various judicial platforms.

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