Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh refuted allegations of favouritism in law officers’ appointment by the state government and claimed that it was done on the basis of candidates’ merit. The Punjab government on Friday had announced reduction of the size of its legal team to almost half its previous strength and chose to appoint more experienced professionals to clear the mounting pendency of state-related cases in various courts.
On reports in a section of the local media that kin of various Congress leaders and government officials had been accommodated in the new legal team, Amarinder said all appointments were cleared without any bias and solely taking into account the candidates’ proficiency and experience. He said similar considerations were taken into account in appointment of all law officers, including Sukhmani Bajwa, the daughter of Congress MLA Fateh Singh Bajwa. “It is unfortunate that a political colour is being sought to be given to the appointments,” the Chief Minister said in a statement.
A person’s family connections cannot be allowed to be considered for professional appointments as it would lead to depriving many candidates the opportunity they deserve. At the same time, the state government would be deprived of services of efficient professionals, he said. The media reports claimed that kin of some politicians and at least six former judges are among the 121 names announced by the Punjab government on Friday for appointment as law officers. Of the 121 new law officers appointed, 25 are additional advocate generals, 49 assistant AGs, 30 deputy AGs and 17 senior deputy AGs.