The Central agency handling government litigation at the Supreme Court came under attack from a former senior law officer who alleged it worked in a “shockingly callous” manner jeopardising Centre”s interest in sensitive cases having large revenue implications.
Senior advocate Bishwajit Bhattacharyya, who demitted office as Additional Solicitor General (ASG) on November 10 after a three-year tenure, gave a glimpse of what happens behind the scene before a crucial case is assigned to a government lawyer and argued in the court.
Bhattacharyya said, “I found in crucial cases some important pages were invariably found missing or that the full brief was not given or that for Friday”s case, briefs were delivered invariably late on Thursday night leaving little or no time to read the briefs”
Bhattacharyya in his book “My Experience with the Office of ASG of India”, alleged that the effort of entire machinery might be only to score some side goals and to give handle to the private litigant and even the Attorney General did not intervene to keep the house in order in the agency.
“Such was the shockingly callous state of affairs. My protests obviously fell into deaf ears. No one bothered whether the government”s interest was jeopardised or not was the least of all concerns of persons who mattered” the book said, adding, “In my perception, there has always been total anarchy in the Central Agency without any accountability. This I witnessed for almost three years.”
According to him, “I was hoping that the Attorney General would call a meeting of all the Law Officers. I was hoping that in the said meetings I would vent my feelings in the best interest of the government. But not one single meeting was called by the the AG during my tenure. I think it is only in order to escape from being asked uncomfortable questions that such meetings were never held”