10 July 2023 3:56 PM GMT
On Monday, while disposing of a writ petition filed by a former Additional Advocate General of the State of Uttar Pradesh seeking writ of mandamus against the State Government to clear the bills of his outstanding fees, the Supreme Court expressed doubt whether such a petition can be entertained in exercise of jurisdiction under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, especially when...
On Monday, while disposing of a writ petition filed by a former Additional Advocate General of the State of Uttar Pradesh seeking writ of mandamus against the State Government to clear the bills of his outstanding fees, the Supreme Court expressed doubt whether such a petition can be entertained in exercise of jurisdiction under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, especially when the entitlement of the petitioner to the fee has been disputed.
“We have serious doubts if a writ petition under A.32 of the Constitution of India can be entertained at the instance of an advocate representing the state for recovery of his fees and that also when there was a serious dispute regarding the entitlement of the petitioner to recover the same.We are unable to pass any further orders in this writ petition, hence, it is disposed of.”
A Bench comprising Justice AS Oka and Justice Sanjay Karol disposed of the plea keeping open all other remedies available to the petitioner.
At the outset Justice Oka was bemused that a law officer of a State Government had approached the Supreme Court by filing a writ petition under Article 32 seeking recovery of his fees.
“We are shocked to know a lawyer filing a writ petition against the State to recover his fees”, the Judge orally remarked.
The petitioner appearing in person apprised the Bench that similarly situated officers of State Governments who have approached the Apex Court have been granted relief. However, Justice Oka pointed out that in the instant case an order was passed on 23.04.2018 which reflects that according to the State Government all the outstanding bills have been disbursed to the petitioner. It was also emphasised upon by the Judge that the entitlement of the petitioners to the fees was disputed.
As the petitioner urged the Bench to grant relief, Justice Oka asked him, “What is the fundamental right that is affected if you are not paid fees by the State.”
The petitioner responded, “This is my hard earned money.”
Justice Oka said, “We understand your predicament but still you cannot file a petitioner under A. 32 to recover fees.”
The Judge advised the petitioner to institute a suit in order to recover the money, “Take recourse of proper remedy. File a suit and recover the money.”
Justice Oka added, “We will not allow a law officer of the state to file a writ petition under Article 32 to recover his fees. By filing this you have already got a substantial amount. You should be happy.”
[Case Title: Vijay Kumar Shukla v. State of UP And Ors. WP(C) No. 217/2018]
Citation : 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 523
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