HP government has no information about legal representatives
Reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that the Himachal Pradesh government does not have information about the personal details of a battery of legal luminaries representing the state in the courts.
The Himachal Pradesh government has appointed 15 additional and eight deputy advocate generals. As per the normal procedure, the department of home issues the selection notification and after that, officers join the office of the advocate general. The officers join the office of the advocate general after the selection notification is issued by the department of home. A thorough scrutiny of the antecedents of the candidates including their experience of past legal practice is prerequisite to their appointment as government representative.
The applicant had sought details of the names and address of each selected candidate, their experience and a copy of their latest income tax return, from the office of the principal secretary (home). However, complete information was not furnished to the applicant and the deputy secretary (home) directed the advocate general’s office to procure the required information from the individual officers.
If the public information officer of the advocate general had the names of the recently selected candidates only, it implies that the advocate general did not have information about all the additional and deputy advocate generals. It is obligatory on the part of the government to do the detailed scrutiny of the selected candidates as they lawyers deal with sensitive cases.
The RTI applicant, Dev Ashish Bhattacharya has expressed his astonishment to the fact that government did not have basic information of all candidates, necessary for selecting them for such important assignments.,