State directed to frame rules for appointment of law officers

The controversy over the appointment of law officers being more political with merit taking a back seat took a different turn on Saturday, with the Madras High Court directing the state to formulate guidelines fixing criteria for the selection of advocates to the post of Government Law Officers.
State directed to frame rules for appointment of law officers

Chennai

Observing that under 2017 Rules, the Advocate General forwards the names of eligible candidates, after which a Selection Committee comprising the AG and three Secretaries of the state government make the selection, the first bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose, said, “The Rules, however, do not contain any guidelines with regard to the mode and method of selection from out of the eligible candidates forwarded by the Advocate General.” 
“We direct the State to formulate and/or frame definite guidelines for the manner and/or criteria of selection of advocates to the post of Government Law Officers and in particular, the mode of giving weightage to court appearances, advocacy, legal acumen, quality of drafting pleadings, reported and unreported judgments, academic background, integrity, behaviour, general reputation, etc. for all future appointments,” the bench held. 
Noting that as and when government law officers are selected, applications should be invited from advocates by putting up notices in the Bar Associations, the bench said, “Since the 2017 Rules only deal with appointment of law officers to the High Court, we need not concern ourselves with the appointment of law officers in the Subordinate Courts ...”

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