CHENNAI: A PIL has been filed in Madras High Court for a direction to the Union Ministries of Home and Law and Justice and the State Chief Secretary and Law Secretary to frame rules and guidelines for appointment of law officers for representing the State government and the Union Territory of Puducherry.
Advocate V Vasanthakumar filed the PIL which is likely to come up before the vacation bench today (May 25).
Petitioner said the post of law officer is not a political one, but a public post with greater responsibility in the administration of justice. Unless the appointment of law officers is made fairly based on merit, ability and integrity, the justice delivery system would be in peril.
They conduct the cases on behalf of the State and not at the instance of the ruling party. However, in reality it is an unwritten rule that whichever party comes to power, the advocates, who owe allegiance to that party, alone are appointed as law officers. Even the posts of the Advocate-General and Public Prosecutor are also not spared.
Loyalty to the ruling party in power gets priority in the appointments of law officers. The integrity, capability, honesty, efficiency and legal acumen of the appointees are considered secondary. The unwritten qualifications are such that the advocate should be a member of the ruling party, should have taken part in agitations, protests and dharnas conducted by the party when it was not in power and they should have appeared for the party or its leaders.
These qualifications seem to weigh more than the legal acumen of lawyers in the matter of appointment as law officers. These appointments are totally against the rulings of the High Courts and the Supreme Court.
The rate of conviction in criminal cases has become low, while crime rate has increased in geometrical proposition and most of the matters where the Government is a party, go unrepresented, petitioner contended and submitted that he had also sent representations to the State and central government authorities in this regard.