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Appointment of legal officers: HC seeks report from govt

Press Trust of India  |  Madurai 

The Madras High Court today sought a report from Tamil Nadu government on the procedure of appointing legal officers in the Office of District Superintendents of Police on a PIL which alleged it was done without issuing any public notification and assessing their eligibility, experience and ability, among other things.

Justices S Manikumar and C T Selvam directed the Home department and the DGP to file the report on the process of selection and procedure followed in appointment of legal officers and posted the case for hearing on April 15.

Hearing a PIL filed by advocate S Baskaran Mathuram who sought quashing of a Government Order sanctioning 31 posts of legal officers to assist Superintendents of Police, the Judges wanted to know the views of the government on complaints made by the petitioner.

Mathuram submitted that the July 12 2013 G.O., by which sanction was made for appointing legal officers made no mention of the process or procedure for selection.

The selection had been made without issuing any public notification and giving opportunity to all willing and eligible advocates, he submitted.

The SPs had appointed the legal officers known to them or recommended by superior officers or political leaders. Many persons with experience, knowledge and ability had been ignored, he alleged.

Besides, there were already public prosecutors, government pleaders and government advocates to conduct cases. But as they were not in a position to render proper legal advice to SPs, government was constrained to sanction 31 posts of legal officers, he said.

The petitioner alleged that the selection had been done secretively and said these officers should not be allowed to deal with highly sensitive and confidential cases.

He also sought to restrain the legal officers from discharging their duty and stay the operation of the G.O.

He sought a direction from the court to the government to file a report on the process and procedure followed by SPs to appoint the legal officers.

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First Published: Tue, March 15 2016. 20:22 IST