THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) will take a decision on the pending appearance fees of senior Supreme Court lawyer Abhishekh Manu Singhvi only after consultations with the board’s standing counsel in the apex court.
While Singhvi had presented a Rs 62-lakh bill for representing the Devaswom Board in the Supreme Court, board officials said he had actually appeared on behalf of the state government and not the TDB. A Padmakumar, TDB president, told reporters that the board was planning to engage either Mohan Parasaran or Gopal Subramaniam — both senior lawyers — in the apex court.
TDB member K P Sankaradas said the board is yet to study the file and that Singhvi is not representing TDB in the Supreme court. Sankaradas said he has not seen the file on the amount the board owes to Singhvi.
“We are yet to go through the file regarding the payment to be made to Singhvi. Hence, we need to examine the bills his office has presented us with. If we have to pay him we will do so only after consulting our standing counsel in the Supreme Court,” Sankaradas told Express.
He contended that Singhvi had represented the TDB during the previous UDF Government’s tenure and that the board is currently represented by another standing counsel in the Supreme Court. TDB authorities do not have any clarity on whether the senior lawyer had represented the board or the state government in the apex court.
A TDB source indicated the board is planning to negotiate with Singhvi’s office for slashing the amount charged as appearance fee and that ultimately the board will have to settle the amount. TDB will also inform Singhvi’s office that the Supreme Court order on Sabarimala and the ensuing developments had hit its revenue.