Tuesday, June, 18,2024

Kejriwal's law department rejects legal bills of senior advocates hired by Delhi government

New Delhi: The Law Department of the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government has refused to pay several bills raised by advocates, running into crores, due to blatant non-compliance with financial rules and violation of terms of engagements by the minister Kailash Gehlot, according to law department sources.
The sources said it seems obvious that minister Gehlot did so in full knowledge of the rules to be followed and flouted the same with the deliberate intent of not making the payments and blaming the Law Department instead. Sources also revealed that among several others, bills amounting to Rs. 15.5 lakh put up by Kapil Sibal, Senior Advocate and bill amounting to Rs. 980,000 put up by Rahul Mehra, Senior Advocate, have been turned down by the Law Department, citing blatant departure from rules put in place by the Aam Aadmi Party government itself for engagement of Senior Advocates and Advocates on Record (AoR), the sources said.
The sources added the department has also not agreed to the very appointment of Kapil Sibal, Rahul Mehra, Senior Advocates and Jyoti Mendiratta and Sudhanshu Padhi, (AoRs) in various matters where they were engaged directly by the Law Minister, Kailash Gehlot without following the due process.
Gehlot, the sources alleged, did so in absolute circumvention and violation of rules that essentially require, the concurrence of the Finance Department, before moving the proposal on file by the Law Department for approval of the Law Minister, before an advocate can be engaged.
Against that backdrop, the Principal Secretary (Law) has submitted a report to the Law Minister, Chief Minister, and Lieutenant Governor, intimating the department's inability to process the matter in view of the violation of the Rules.
It may be noted that the laid down process in the matters of engaging and paying senior advocates on behalf of the Government in Supreme Court and High Court involves fixation of amount payable to the advocates prior to their engagement and then getting the amount so agreed cleared by the Finance Department. Only thereafter can a person be engaged after seeking approval of the Law Minister on file, which has to be then approved by the LG in advance, the sources explained. (ANI)

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