Delhi HC talks tough to govt on lawyers’ pending dues

Published: Sep 23, 2020, 1:50 pm IST
HC

New Delhi:  The Delhi High Court has warned the government of pronouncing strict orders in case pending bills of public prosecutors regarding their professional fees were not cleared by the next date.

The court was hearing a plea filed by a pubic prosecutor who sought clearance of her bills for the last eight years.

Hearing the matter through videoconference, a Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan told the government: “Tell your officers that if the lawyers aren’t paid by the next date of hearing, we will withhold their salaries.”

Advocate Satish Aggarwala, who appeared for the petitioner, said that fee bills were pending for the last eight years and the amount was really crucial for her since her brother was suffering from cancer.

Posting the matter for further hearing on December 4, the bench said: “Put your house in order… if the due amount is not paid, we shall pass strictures on the next date.”

The court was hearing an application filed in a main petition preferred by lawyer Piyush Gupta through advocate Kapil Goyal, seeking clarification from the respondents on the ground(s) and since when the professional fee dues of empanelled lawyers were pending.

Gupta said in his plea that the government counsels played a vital role in the justice delivery system but it was unfortunate that authorities did not show any concern since their professional fee bills were pending for long.

The departments concerned had not cleared the bills despite representations and even specific directions by court order dated September 3, 2015, the plea said.

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