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Bahujan Samaj Party’s national general secretary and senior advocate Satish Chandra Mishra was paid more than Rs 4 crore by the Mayawati government for his appearance in the Supreme Court on behalf of Uttar Pradesh between 2009 and 2012, an RTI reply has revealed.
The amount is highest paid to any lawyer defending the UP government.
The state government gave the details in reply to an application filed by RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal seeking information about payments made to the advocates by Uttar Pradesh government since 2007-08.
“I had come to know that Satish Chandra Mishra had been paid crores of rupees by the state government and so I filed an RTI application. The reply says that he (Mishra) was paid more than Rs 4 crore,” said Agrawal.
As per the reply, Mishra was paid Rs 1.8 crore in the year 2009-10 for appearance in 56 cases, Rs 2.21 crore in 2010-11 for appearance in 67 cases and Rs 62.7 lakh in 2011-12 for appearance in 19 cases.
Responding to The Indian Express over being paid the highest amount as advocate representing the state government, Mishra said there was nothing illegal about it.
“What is illegal in the payment? I have been paid for the cases I have appeared for. The payment is made as per the fee decided by the state government for senior advocates,” Mishra said.
He said that several senior advocates charge a much higher fee for appearance than what was paid to him and he has also “heard that the current government is paying a much higher fee than the previous BSP government for senior advocates”.
Apart from Mishra, several other senior advocates too were paid huge sums of money for appearances on behalf of the state government. These include K K Venugopal, who was paid more than Rs 2.3 crore between 2007 and 2013 and Gopal Subramaniam, who was paid over Rs 91.3 lakh in 2009-10 alone for appearance in 36 cases.
Similarly, senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi was paid Rs 54 lakh for appearance in 12 cases in 2012-13 while Rakesh Dwivedi was paid Rs 56 lakh for 16 cases in 2013-14. Samajwadi Party member and president of party’s legal wing, Gaurav Bhatia has earned Rs 47 lakh in 2012-13 and 2013-14 for appearance in 170 cases.