Two years after the BJP government decided to appoint 10 legal executives to facilitate early disposal of cases, not a single officer has joined the workforce. The reason: an unexpected high number of applicants for the contractual post. According to sources in the government, over 1,000 people applied for the 10 posts, forcing the government to first hold an online written exam to screen the candidates.
The decision to appoint legal executives, who would act as an interface between various government departments and the higher judiciary to expedite disposal of cases, was taken in 2016. In December 2016, the official resolution for the appointment was issued, followed up by an advertisement in January 2017 inviting applications for the posts between January 5, 2017 and January 21, 2017. However, following the publication of the advertisement, the Legal Department received applications “beyond what was expected”, and the government decided to conduct online examination to shortlist the candidates.
“Initially, it was decided to conduct interviews of the applicants. But, when the department received a large number of applications, the idea of appointing them based on their interviews was dropped. In June, 2018 the government declared to conduct an online MCQ examination of the applicants,” said a senior government official.
The candidates for the legal executives, which is equivalent to under secretary post, are required to possess a law degree from a recognised university, knowledge of Hindi, Gujarati and English languages, Sanad (licence to practice law from the concerned bar council) with age below 45 years. Their appointment has been marked as a contractual one — a job contract of 11 months — with monthly fixed salary of Rs 40,000. Other perks include an office chamber and a telephone.
The work profile of legal executives include coordinating litigations related to concerned departments in various courts, ensuring timely filing of affidavits and other reports in courts, apprising the government on pending and disposed litigations and doing legal research.
The online examination to screen the candidates was conducted last month where the candidates were tested on their knowledge of the Constitution, Code of Criminal Procedure, Indian Penal Code, Evidence Act, Contract Act, Specific Relief Act, Transfer of Property Act, Limitation Act. It also tested their general knowledge, English, computer skills and general intelligence quotient.
Legal department has conducted written examinations of the applicants and will conduct interviews of the candidates who cleared.
The interview of the shortlised candidates are yet to take place.
“These are senior positions and the appointees will be handling all the legal battles of the state government, especially in higher judiciary. So, the government is cautious before holding interviews of the candidates and finalising the appointments. The matter is lying with top political leadership of the state government,” said government sources.