HC declines to entertain plea on law officers’ appointment

The Madras High Court today disposed of a batch of PILs challenging the present system of appointment of state law officers, saying the matter comes under the purview of the government.

The ruling by Acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh and Justice RMT Teeka Raman was in contrary to the stand taken earlier by another bench which had appointed an amicus curie to frame draft rules for appointment of the officers who represent the state government in various courts.

Earlier, a bench led by Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul (since elevated to the Supreme Court) had appointed senior advocates A L Somayaji and R Krishnamoorthy as the amicus curie to go into framing of the rules.

Subsequently, the draft rules were submitted by the two lawyers in the previous hearing on February 14 following which the bench had then said it would be open to the state government to proceed and notify the rules, unless they have some concern.

Posting the matter for today, the bench had also said the government could bring to the notice of the court such concerns.

When the matter came up for hearing today, the bench led by the Acting Chief Justice in its order said the appointment of law officers was purely under the domain of the state government and asked how the court can interfere.

Disposing of the petitions, including one by advocate V Vasanthakumar, the bench gave liberty to the state government to act in accordance with the Supreme Court guidelines in the matter.

It further said if there was any violation of the apex court guidelines, the petitioners may approach the court.

Vasanthakumar had alleged that it was an unwritten rule that whichever party comes to power, advocates, with leanings toward the party, were appointed as law officers.

The petitioners had sought a court direction to the state government to appoint law-knowing persons and not political leaders as law officers for different courts.

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