UP packs lawyers' panel with politicians, irks HC

Uttar Pradesh  government has been nominating ‘contractors’ and ‘active politicians’ on its panel of state lawyers in the state high court.

Taking exception to such nominations, the high court has asked the government to explain its policy on the formation of the panel of lawyers.

While hearing a petition, a couple of days back, challenging the nomination of alleged contractors and politicians on the state panel, the court sought to know as to why the government was only getting contractors for the panel.

Justices Sudheer Kumar Agarwal and Sunita Agarwal have also asked for the list of lawyers included in the panel. It has also sought information about the people who have been included in the panel.

The petitioner Yogendra Kumar Jaiswal had alleged in his petition that as many as 17 lawyers in the state panel were not eligible and incompetent yet they were nominated on the panel. He also alleged that some of the people on the panel were contractors while some others were active politicians. There were also some, who had never been an advocate in any court case.

The petitioner has sought dismissal of all such lawyers and also stopping payment of honorarium to them. The court has set July 5 as the date for further hearing of the matter.

Sources in the government here said that lawyers for the state panel were appointed on the recommendation of Samajwadi Party  leaders. SP sources said that the nominations were a means to ‘adjust’ those, who had helped the party in the electoral arena. They said that it was a common practice in every government.

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