The Allahabad High Court has summoned Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Durga Shankar Mishra over government lawyers not being briefed by officials concerned with details of cases.
“Under the circumstances, we have no choice but to summon the Chief Secretary… to appear in person in Court to explain the position as to how the Courts will function if the State counsel appear in Court without any brief and as a result of which, are not able to assist to take up and dispose of the old matters,” said a bench of Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice JJ Munir in an order on Monday.
“Further delay in disposal of cases is resulted on account of no response from officers of the State where only some instructions are to be sought on small issues and non-filing of counter affidavits,” the bench said.
The court gave the directions while hearing a special appeal by one Manish Srivastava and two others.
Srivastava’s lawyer Dharmendra Kumar Srivastava told the court that he had to “call the state counsel” and ask whether anyone was appearing in the matter “as no one has stood up when the matter was taken up for hearing”.
Srivastava submitted in the court that the “counsel did not have even the brief of the case”.
“It is not a case in isolation. Today only there were four matters listed where the state counsel was without any brief of the case. All those cases had to be adjourned per force without assistance as a result of which none of the old matters pending in this court can be taken up,” the lawyer submitted.
He further told the court that “in many cases, the state counsels express their helplessness in matters where time was sought for seeking instructions or filing counter affidavits pointing out that neither their communications are responded to nor the telephone calls”.
The matter has been listed for next hearing on December 13.