Reminding law officers about Rule 8 of the the Law Officers (Condition of Service) Rules, 1987, the Law Ministry has asked the law officers to not to take up private cases until unless there exists a compelling reason.
Rule 8 (1) of the the Law Officers (Condition of Service) Rules, 1987 states, ‘A Law Officer shall not (1) hold briefs in any court for any party except the Government of India or the Government of a State or any University, Government School or College,local authority, Public Service Commission, Port Trust, Port Commissioners,Government aided or Government managed hospitals, a Government company as defined in Section 617 of the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956),any Corporation owned or controlled by the State, anybody or institution in which the Government has a preponderating interest;’
Reportedly, the Ministry had also issued a similar memorandum in 2011 and 2012. The latest letter, written by the Law Secretary P K Malhotra states, "In spite of above instructions, requests from law officers seeking permission to appear in private cases are being received in routine manner. Sometimes, the number of requests is so large that it tends to take away sizable amount of time of law officers in private matters and in the process, their prime attention in government cases suffers,"
The letter addressed to the Attorney General for India, the Solicitor General and Additional Solicitors General(s), has asked the law officers to restrain themselves from asking permission to appear in private cases.