The Uttar Pradesh government has restrained its departments and agencies from engaging special private lawyers to represent them in the Allahabad High Court and its Lucknow bench, except in “unavoidable circumstances”.
In an order, Special Secretary (Justice department) Indrajeet Singh said that the engagement of private lawyers not only causes heavy financial burden on the exchequer but also lowers the image of existing state lawyers who are competent enough to handle cases.
Singh said that special private counsel would be engaged by departments and other agencies henceforth only in unavoidable circumstances with the prior opinion of the Advocate General.
This comes days after Advocate General Ajay Kumar Mishra wrote to the state government telling it that the practice of engaging special private counsel in the High Court and especially in the Lucknow bench has increased of late.
It is noticed that special private counsels are being engaged even in simple cases which can be argued by the already appointed state law officers in the High Court, he said in his letter.
“This kind of unnecessary engagement of special private counsel draws heavy burden on public exchequer as the fees of the special private counsel is paid around Rs five lakh per hearing which means if the case got listed three times in a month, the state government would have to cough up Rs fifteen lakh in a month,” Mishra had stated in his letter.