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Centre taken to court by former representative over payment Centre taken to court by former representative over payment

Jan-14-2015 | 0 Comments


KOCHI: Central government's former representative at the Kerala high court has filed a petition before the court for recovering the legal fees owed to him by the government.

The representative, whose formal title was assistant solicitor general (ASG), is a political appointee and is paid on the basis of number of appearances made before the court to represent the government. As per the memorandum issued by the union ministry of law and justice in January 2011, an ASG is entitled to Rs6,000 per effective hearing and Rs1,000 for non-effective hearing. The number of non-effective hearings are capped at a maximum of five per day.

P Parameswaran Nair, who was the ASG from 2007 to 2009 and from 2011 to 2014, said in the petition that Rs16.32 lakh of legal fees remains unpaid by the freedom fighters division (FFD) of ministry of home affairs towards the expenses for contesting cases related to freedom fighter pension claims. He had also sent copies of appearance memos for the cases conducted to FFD.

When the BJP came to power at the centre, Parameswaran Nair demitted office and sent the bill to FFD. However, in an unprecedented act, the FFD wrote to the registrar general of the high court to confirm the claims of appearances made by the ASG. The registrar replied it was not possible for the high court to provide the details on whether the ASG appeared in the cases as claimed. Citing the non-confirmation by the registrar, the FFD declined to pay the legal fees.

Seeking a court directive to pay the legal fees, the former ASG contended that FFD's order declining payment was arbitrary. High court registrar did not have any responsibility nor any authority to vouch for the appearance of ASG in the cases filed before the court, the petition contended.

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