NEW DELHI: In a first of its kind virtual meeting, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad interacted with the top law officers of the country including the attorney general, the solicitor general and officers of the legal affairs and justice departments. He raised the issue of ‘overzealous’ PILs being filed during the current Covid-19 pandemic.
Prasad said that although the right of petitioners to file cases could not be curtailed, an intervention was required to put a stop to such frivolous PILs during such ‘challenging times’. Law minister’s statements come in the backdrop of the PILs making up the bulk of Supreme Court’s business. According to one report at least 40 PILs had been filed within just the first month of the lockdown.
Attorney general KK Venugopal and solicitor general Tushar Mehta too agreed with the law minister’s views.Views on streamlining the business in courts at a time of social distancing measures being followed were also discussed.The secretary, department of justice, said that 1282 advocates had registered for e-filing of petitions during lockdown, out of which 543 advocates have registered in last one week alone.
Prasad said that just as the Prime Minister was interacting with chief ministers of various states, and the manner in which cabinet secretary and health secretary were interacting with their colleagues in the states, could be emulated by officers in the justice and law affairs departments as well.