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Judiciary

Can LG appoint lawyers? Delhi govt approaches Supreme Court

By Mahima Katal      04 March, 2024 05:46 PM      0 Comments
Can LG appoint lawyers? Delhi govt approaches Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday sought the response of the Central government and the Delhi Lieutenant Governor (LG) on a plea by the Delhi government challenging the decision of the Centre to confer LG with the power to appoint lawyers to represent State of Delhi in constitutional courts.

In the petition, the Delhi government challenged an August 10, 2017, office memorandum issued by the Union government in this regard. The writ petition was under Article 32 of the Constitution. 

In April 2023, the lieutenant governor had assumed the role of appointing pleaders representing the Delhi government, citing the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, which is a central legislation. In February this year, LG VK Saxena clarified that the proposal or matters relating to the appointment or engagement of advocates, advocates-on-record, and senior advocates would have to be submitted for his opinion first.

Also Read -  Delhi LG Defends Termination of 437 Consultants, Fellows, and Researchers, Citing Flouted Reservation Policy and Revised Selection Criteria

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta issued notice after hearing Senior Counsel for the Delhi government, Shyam Divan and Siddhartha Dave.

The submission reads, "If the power to appoint and fix fees of lawyers of Delhi government in such a case is vested with the Central government, it will amount to conferring the Centre to appoint and fix the fees of the advocate of the opposite party and the same cannot be allowed. It would be violative of the fundamental principles of rule of law."

The plea also highlighted the pending litigation before the Supreme Court between the Central government and Delhi government regarding the power tussle between the two, especially regarding control over services including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers in the national capital.
 



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