More than a year after he resigned, the Chandigarh Administration on Monday accepted the resignation of its senior standing counsel Sanjay Kaushal.
It was on January 22, 2013 that Kaushal had offered to hang up his boots. However, his resignation was not accepted and Kaushal was asked to continue. Senior lawyer Sanjeev Sharma replaces Kaushal as the new senior standing counsel.
As per available information, strong difference of opinion had emerged on certain legal cases and issues between UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil and Kaushal.
Sources say Patil, at an official meeting attended by senior UT officers last January, had expressed disapproval of the way a high-profile case was handled.
The case pertained to a dispute over payment of “exorbitant fees” charged by the arbitrators for resolving the dispute related to the multi-crore Prideasia project between Parsvnath and Chandigarh Housing Board. Kaushal had objected to the “criticism” at the meeting terming it unjustified. Days later, he had tendered his resignation.
With seeds of dissent sown, Kaushal and the UT administrator had differed in few cases, including that of a dispute between UT employees and the Chandigarh Administration over the self-financing housing scheme.
Sources say that Kaushal was advised by senior UT officials not to quit the post. However, after Kaushal insisted a few days back that his resignation be accepted, the administration finally accepted it on Monday.
Both Kaushal and the administration refused to comment on the actual reason for demitting office.
Speaking on behalf of the administration, M M Sabharwal, Joint Secretary (Home), said: “The administration was satisfied with the performance of Sanjay Kaushal as the senior standing counsel. His resignation was accepted as he was pressing hard to demit office and focus on his private practice.”
When contacted, Kaushal said, “I want to focus more on my private practice. I served the administration to the best of my ability and with utmost sincerity.”
He added that “I argued over 2,000 cases on behalf of the administration during my tenure. Out of which 1,300 were decided”.
Grandson of the late Jagannath Kaushal, former local MP, Kaushal had replaced Anupam Gupta as senior standing counsel of the UT Administration on March 23, 2010, months after Patil was made UT Administrator and Punjab Governor.