With a number of “merit-less” appeals being filed in the High Court by different departments of the Haryana government, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday gave four weeks time to the state government to look into the rules which allow heads of the government departments to override the opinion of the state Advocate General as well as the Legal Remembrancer on filing of appeals before the courts.
The division bench of Chief Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Arun Palli passed the order while hearing one such appeal in which the Public Health Engineering Department had gone ahead with appeal against the judgment of a single bench despite the state Advocate General’s opinion that it was not a case fit for appeal.
“We are in a very discomforting position on this,” the division bench observed. “Advocate General does not matter? Government and Cabinet is bound by your opinion and this department is not?”
The division bench further observed that in a similar matter disciplinary proceedings were initiated against the officials of Uttar Pradesh government who in a similar manner had moved Special Leave Petitions in the apex court despite the unfavorable opinion of the state Advocate General in those cases.
Haryana Advocate General Baldev Raj Mahajan sought four weeks time to look into the provisions of the Law Department manual where the departments have been given the right to override the opinions of Advocate General and Legal Remembrancer. Mahajan told the court that he would require at least four weeks for a decision on the necessary amendment in the rules.
The division bench last week had observed that, “The tendency of the officials of state to file LPA in a merit-less case despite settled legal proposition is an issue which requires consideration, in as much as, such cases not only waste the precious time and energy of the Court but also add to already over-burdened docket of this Court.”