By: Sajidah Yousuf
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir government has abstained the departments, corporations, Public Sector Undertakings (PSU) and autonomous bodies from appointing Standing Counsels on their own.
Additional Secretary to Government for Department of Law, Justice and Parliament Affairs Ashish Gupta in this regard issued the communiqués.
As per the circular issued by the government, the decision was taken after it found that some government departments, corporations, PSUs and other autonomous bodies in the Jammu and Kashmir were appointing standing counsels on their own, which was violating the standing instructions of the subject.
The official document reads, “It has been observed that some government departments, corporations, PSU’s, and autonomous bodies in the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir were appointing standing counsels on their own and advocates, who have not been engaged by the department of law, justice and parliamentary affairs, are appearing in their cases, which is in violation of standing instructions on the subject. This has been viewed seriously by the authorities.”
With regard to the accountability and quality, the circular states that a centralized mechanism for engagement and appearance of standing counsels for all the government departments, corporations, PSUs and autonomous bodies would befit coordination and accountability and also improve the quality of representation before various courts in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir.
“All the government departments, corporations, PSU’s and autonomous bodies in Jammu and Kashmir shall be represented only by counsels engaged by department of law, justice and parliamentary affairs (Senior Additional Advocates General, Additional Advocates General, Deputy Advocates General, Government Advocates, and Standing Counsels),” it reads.
The government impressed upon all such autonomous bodies to abstain from appointing standing counsels on their own and in case of the difficulty, a requisition may be made to department of law, justice and parliamentary affairs for engagement of counsels for their cases pending before various forums and the department in consultation with the Advocate General, shall provide the services of Counsels (Sr. Additional Advocates General, Additional Advocates General, Deputy Advocates General, Government Advocates and Standing Counsels) engaged by the Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs”, it added. (KNO)