NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Personnel, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has cracked the whip on the chasm between concerned ministries over ongoing litigations in the court. It has decided an action plan to ensure that ministries dealing with cases should be on the same page with the Law Ministry and Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) to save the government from facing any embarrassment in court. It has also asked the Ministry of Law to designate a counsel for each Ministry so that court cases are defended well.
“While defending court cases, as far as possible the DoPT, Ministry of Law and line Ministry (Concerned Ministry) should be on the same page and put up arguments on behalf of Union of India in a coherent manner and uphold the policy of the government applicable in the relevant case,” action plan sent to the ministries said.
Generally, ministries make references to DoPT seeking advice regarding the course of action to be taken on the order of courts.
If the direction of order is against the policy of the department, the concerned ministry is advised to file an appeal for review in consultation of Law Ministry. The Ministry of Personnel has categorically told all the ministries that if there is divided opinion between DoPT and Law Ministry on the same case, the concerned ministry must file a second reference to resolve the issue.
“The administrative ministry or department must ensure that an officer of the level of Under Secretary or above is present in the court when important issues having policy issues or contempt petitions come up for hearing,” it said.
The DoPT said wherever the direction of the tribunal or court is not in consonance with the policy of DoPT, it may not insist on the administrative ministry obtaining the advice of Law Ministry.