NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has spent crores of rupees for fighting cases in various courts against its own soldiers, sailors and airmen.
In a reply to a query raised in the Rajya Sabha by AIADMK MP A Mohammedjan, MoD replied, “A total of Rs. 26,12,30,810 (Rupees Twenty six crore twelve lakh thirty thousand eight hundred and ten) has been spent for legal expenses by Army, Navy and Air Force for the year 2019-20 (upto February, 2020).
Mohammedjan asked whether it was a fact that the government paid a sum of Rs 7.85 crore as fee to the Government counsel for various cases pending against military personnel in the Supreme Court, High Courts and the Armed Forces Tribunals, if so, the details thereof.
Well done @PMOIndia @rajnathsingh @rajeev_mp @drajaykumar_ias .— ravinder bhandari (@payyaboy) March 16, 2020
A flat reduction of over 50% plus as money spent in 2017-18 only in Supreme Court against @adgpi @IAF_MCC @indiannavy soldiers was 47.99 Crore.
Thanks @SinghNavdeep @MajDPSingh @Ptr6Vb for awareness. pic.twitter.com/osePwksWGV
In its reply the MoD said that the payments included fee, remuneration, professional charges to advocates, law firms, arbitrators, conference, conveyance charges, clerkage, retainer fee, expenses incurred by Government counsel on drafting of Special Leave Petition/ Counter Affidavit/ Rejoinder, drawing written submission, drafting or appearance, preparation of suites, writ petitions and appeals, to name a few. Payment of fees to counsel for various cases is only a part of the legal expenditure.
In reply to the question whether it was a fact that Government has been taking excessive litigations the government said No. The MoD added, "Appeals are filed before Appellate Court /Honourable Court/ Supreme Court against the impugned judgments of the lower courts only after case to case examination in detail and subsequent to obtaining the opinion of Legal Advisor (Defence) and Law Officers viz. Solicitor General of India, Additional Solicitor General of India/Ministry of Law & Justice."
Fee bills of government counsels appearing in cases filed by or against the army, navy and air force in Supreme Court, Delhi High Court and Lower Courts in Delhi jurisdiction are paid through Ministry of Law & Justice.