Lawyers Protest Exclusion From Central Government Panel; Write To Law Minister

Lawyers Protest Exclusion From Central Government Panel; Write To Law Minister

The Central Government notification issued on February 1 reconstituting the panel of lawyers of the Central Government has not gone down well with many members of the profession.

Several names were seen excluded from the reconstituted list of Group A, B, C panels of counsel for conducting cases for Central Government in the Supreme Court. Generally, the classification as Group A, B,C is made in reference to seniority and experience of the lawyers. When the panel was reconstituted on February 1, several lawyers were found removed from the list, leading to the grievance that the panel was prepared ignoring seniority and capability. Many of them have years of experience and had fully devoted their entire career for conducting Central Government cases at the cost of doing their private matters.

It is learnt that some of them have submitted a representation to the Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, protesting the exclusion of their names from the panel.

The common grouse amongst lawyers is that reconstitution was done mostly on the basis of contacts and political affiliations. There is negligible representation of lawyers from minority and Dalit communities. Out of 460 names in Groups A,B and C, only 7 lawyers are from the minority Muslim community.

There is a feeling that Central Government and Public Sector Undertakings are not giving adequate exposure and encouragement to lawyers from marginalized sections by empanelling them. Though there are a lot of lawyers in the panel, cases are allotted only to those who are close to central government litigation department or law officers of the Government.

There have been many complaints about the running of central government litigation agency situated in the Supreme Court. The senior government law officers used to complain about functioning of the central litigation agency when they were faced with queries from Court on non-filing of documents or non-explanation for delay in filing of matters.

They voice the apprehension that removal of experienced lawyers from the pane will adversely affect the interests of government in case in Supreme Court.

Read Notification issued on Feb 1