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State of Punjab & Anr. Versus Brijeshwar Singh Chahal & Anr. & Pardeep Kumar Rapria

Whether appointment of law officers by the State Governments can be questioned or the process by which such appointments are made, can be assailed on the ground that the same are arbitrary, hence, violative of the provisions of Article 14 of the Constitution of India - Held that:- no lawyer has a right to be appointed as State Government counsel or as public prosecutor at any level nor does he have a vested right to claim extension in the term for which he/she is initially appointed. - all candi .....

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JJ. J U D G M E N T T.S. THAKUR, CJI. 1. Leave granted. 2. This appeal and the accompanying transferred petition raise a question of considerable public importance. The question precisely is whether appointment of law officers by the State Governments can be questioned or the process by which such appointments are made, can be assailed on the ground that the same are arbitrary, hence, violative of the provisions of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. Before we advert to the juristic dimensi .....

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400-22,400/- by an order dated 11th January, 2008. His tenure was later extended upto the year 2011-2012 in terms of a memo dated 19th April, 2011. 4. Petitioner No.2 to the writ petition was similarly appointed as an Assistant Advocate General on contract basis and then to the post of Deputy Advocate General by orders issued in his favour from time to time. In Civil Writ Petition No.2000 of 2011 filed by the respondents before the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh they made a griev .....

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e respondent No.1 herein had started his career as an Assistant Advocate General and was re-designated as Deputy Advocate General in the year 2008 in which capacity he was working for the past nearly eight years, petitioner No.2 in the writ petition had just about six years of such experience while respondent No.2 herein had no more than four years and five months experience before she was absorbed as Senior Deputy Advocate General in the office of the Advocate General. The grievance of the writ .....

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to evolve and prescribe suitable criterion for regularisation or absorption of those working in that office prayed for. A certiorari quashing order dated 23rd September 2011 by which respondent No.3 was absorbed on the post of Senior Deputy Advocate General was also prayed for, besides a mandamus directing the State to consider the case of the writ petitioners for absorption. 5. A Single Judge of the High Court before whom the writ petition came up for hearing, issued notice to the respondent i .....

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ent was admitted to hearing and the interim direction restraining the State Government from terminating the services of the writ petitioner-respondent No.1 continued. With the contractual tenure of respondent No.1 as Deputy Advocate General coming to an end on 31st October, 2012 his name does not appear to have figured in the list of Deputy Advocates General appointed by an order dated 31st October, 2012. Petitioner No.1/Respondent No.1 herein alleged this to be a breach of the order passed by t .....

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cember, 2012 as misconceived for in the opinion of the Court no clarification of interim order dated 21st October, 2011 restraining termination was necessary. Aggrieved by order dated 1st December, 2012 passed by the Single Judge, the State preferred LPA No.1458 of 2013 which was dismissed by a Division Bench of the High Court by its order dated 25th September, 2013 impugned in the present appeal. 7. In transferred writ petition No.247 of 2015 (renumbered as T.P (C) No.1073 of 2015), the petitio .....

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said appeal arises. Those submissions were recorded and Writ Petition No.247 of 2015 transferred from the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh to this Court for final disposal. That is precisely how the appeal and the writ petition have been heard together for disposal by this common order. The following questions fall for our determination : (1) Whether the States of Punjab and Haryana have made any realistic assessment of their requirement before making appointments of Law Officers. .....

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take for any prudent exercise of the power of appointment of law officers. No such assessment has been made nor any material disclosed by the State Governments to demonstrate that they were sensitive to the need for any such assessment. Power to appoint Law Officers was all the same exercised on what appears to us to be a totally ad hoc basis without any co-relation between the work load in the Courts and the number of Law Officers appointed to handle the same. There is no gainsaid that if the p .....

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ide for assessment of the manpower requirement leave alone any worthwhile process of selection of those appointed. The result is that more than half of those appointed were without any work during the test check period resulting in payment of idle salary in crores. The CAG has while finding fault with the entire process recommended a realistic assessment of the number of law officers required on the basis of the workload and selection of the appointees in a transparent manner. The report also fo .....

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ious Courts of Law, Tribunals and Commissions, the Additional Chief Secretary to Haryana Government, Administration of Justice Department engages Law Officers in various capacities on contract basis as per terms and conditions prescribed by the State Government. With a view to verify the work assigned to these law officers and work actually performed by them, the complete records relating to daily duty rosters, vetting registers and cause lists of Courts for six months between December 2009 and .....

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during the above period. Ø The Law Officers were engaged without giving any advertisement or wide publicity. Ø In the test-checked months, on an average, more than 50 per cent Law Officers remained without work. As detailed in Table 2, on an average the percentage of idle Law Officers with total available strength had arisen from 54 in December 2009 to 78 in January 2012. There was no monitoring of work assigned to these Law Officers by the Department. Table 2: Detail of Law Office .....

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22 97 63 58 42,21,554 November 2011 169 21 123 73 63 49,51,868 January 2012 179 20 140 78 87 69,48,786 Total Idle salary paid to Law Officers without assigning any work In the test-checked months, the number of Law Officers ranging between 20 and 87 had not been allotted any work for whole of the month resulting in idle salary payment of 2.22 crore to these Law Officers for six months as detailed above. In January 2012, out of 179 Law Officers on the roll on an average, 140 Law Officers had not .....

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Administration of Justice Department in an exit conference held on 23 October 2012. During the meeting it was stated that some guidelines should be in place to assess the vacancies on the basis of workload and selection of Law Officers should be made in a transparent manner. The Department was doubtful about the high percentage of Law officers without assigning any work and stated (November 2012) that though the work was generally assigned to a team comprising more than one Law Officer but in th .....

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the Department that the names of all team members were not mentioned in daily duty roster was not acceptable as during re-verification of daily duty rosters, after the exit conference, it was found that wherever a team was deputed for a specific work, names of all the team members were mentioned therein. Thus, the engagement of excess Law Officers without assessing the quantum of work and without resorting to fair and transparent selection method, resulted in allowing more than 50 per cent Law O .....

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ent, for otherwise the appointments may be made not because they are required but because they come handy for political aggrandisement, appeasement or personal benevolence of those in power towards those appointed. The dangers of such an uncanalised & unregulated system of appointment, it is evident are multi-dimensional resulting in erosion of the rule of law, public faith in the fairness of the system and injury to public interest and administration of justice. It is high time to call a ha .....

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in terms of our order dated 11th April, 2014 and asked the State to file an affidavit indicating the following:- 1)What is the procedure followed by the State Government for selecting practising Advocates for appointment as Law Officers for the State of Punjab? 2)Is there any selection or Search Committee constituted for the purpose of making such selections? If so, what is the composition of the Committee? 3)If a Selection/Search Committee has been constituted, the proceedings of the Committee .....

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uent order dated 2nd September, 2015 passed in Transferred Petition No.1073 of 2015, asked the State of Haryana also to file an affidavit answering the above queries. Both the States have in compliance with the said orders filed their respective affidavits. In the affidavit filed on behalf of the State of Punjab it is, inter alia, stated that there is no definite procedure statutory or otherwise governing the selection and appointment of advocates practising as law officers in the State of Punja .....

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equired to respond. For the sake of convenience we may extract verbatim the questions and the replies to the same: 1) What is the procedure followed by the State Government for selecting practicing Advocates for appointment as Law Officers for the State of Punjab. As stated hereinabove, the engagement of law officers to defend the State Government in cases assigned to them cannot be regulated by Statute or policy. Law officers are engaged on the recommendation of the Advocate General of the Stat .....

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r making such selections. 3) If a Selection/Search Committee has been constituted, the proceedings of the Committee regarding any appointment of Law Officers from time to time be filed along with the affidavit. Not applicable, in view of response to item 2 above. 4) Does the Government consult the High Court before finalizing the list of appointments. If the High Court is not consulted, what is other method by which the Government ensures that those picked up are the best at the Bar. It is submi .....

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responsibilities of holding such a position and make sacrifices since it impinges of their private practice. 5) Total number of Law Officers appointed and currently working and the terms on which the appointments are made shall also be filed along with the affidavit. (i) In reply to above, Point No. 5, the details of total numbers of Law Officers currently working is given below: Sr.No. Designation No. of Law Officers 1. Additional Advocate General, Punjab 74 2. Senior Deputy Advocate General, P .....

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stated that in four cases an exception was made and persons were absorbed as Sr. DAG/DAG. With regard to these four cases it is submitted that it would be wholly illogical to suggest that other advocates engaged by the State as law officers, (who are required to work under the Advocate General and to be guided in the discharge of their professional duties as per the instructions and guidance of the Advocate General) should be treated as regular employees of the Government merely because they are .....

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he purpose nor is the High Court consulted before the names are finalised. 14. From the two affidavits filed by the States it is manifest that no procedure for selecting practising advocates for appointment as law officers has been prescribed in the States of Punjab and Haryana. No Selection or Search Committee is constituted or is even envisaged. It is also clear that the two Governments do not consult the High Court before finalizing the list of appointees. The affidavits do not at the same ti .....

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y norms for assessing the merit of those willing to work as State counsel. The affidavits do not even say if any applications are invited for appointment as State counsel. All told, the appointments are based entirely on how the Advocate General advises the State Government on the subject without the Advocate General in turn conducting a selection process, assessing inter se merit on an objective basis or maintaining any record of any such process having been undertaken. The affidavits also do n .....

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ethod while making such appointments. State of Punjab has asserted that the process of selection and appointment cannot be regulated either by policy or by any statute. 15. We have not been able to persuade ourselves to accept the view that even when the appointments are made to offices heavily remunerated from the public exchequer the same can or ought to remain unregulated. That is particularly so when those appointed are expected by the very nature of their appointment to discharge important .....

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ue for long, runs contrary to the true legal position settled by a long line of decisions to which we shall presently refer. The dominant purpose which ought to permeate any process of selection and appointment namely protection of public interest in courts by availing services of the most meritorious is clearly defeated by the method that the States have been following and continue to follow. What is regrettable is that even after the pronouncements of this Court have settled the principles on .....

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nction and if it is the primary duty of those running the affairs of the Government to act fairly, objectively and on a nondiscriminatory basis, there is no option for them except to choose the best at the bar out of those who are willing and at times keen to work as State counsel. It is also their duty to ensure that the process by which the best are selected is transparent and credible. Abdicating that important function in favour of the Advocate General of the State who, in turn, has neither .....

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and custodians of public interest. Discharge of that trust in the best possible manner is the primary duty of those in charge of the affairs of the State or public body. This necessarily implies that the nature of functions and duties including the power to engage, employ or recruit servants, agents, advisors and representatives must be exercised in a fair, reasonable, non-discriminatory and objective manner. It is also fairly well settled that duty to act fairly and reasonably is a facet of Rul .....

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of Law of which equality is one significant feature. 17. In S G Jaisinghani v. Union of India AIR 1967 SC 1427, this Court held that absence of arbitrary power is the first essential of Rule of Law upon which rests our Constitutional system. This Court ruled that in a system governed by rule of law, any discretion conferred upon the executive authorities must be confined within clearly defined limits. This Court quoted with approval, the following observations of Douglas J. in United States vs. .....

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rimination. Equality, declared this Court, was antithetic to arbitrariness. The Court described equality and arbitrariness as sworn enemies, one belonging to the rule of law in a republic and the other to the whims and caprice of an absolute monarch. Resultantly if an act is found to be arbitrary, it is implicit that it is unequal both according to political logic and constitutional law, hence violative of Article 14 and if it affects any matter of public employment it is also violative of Artic .....

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tion whether, it be legislative or executive Article 14 would spring into action and strike the same down. This Court held, that the concept of reasonableness and non-arbitrariness pervades the constitutional scheme and is a golden thread, which runs through the entire Constitution. 20. In Ramana Shetty v. International Airport Authority 1979 AIR (SC) 1628, this Court relying upon the pronouncements of E.P. Royappa and Maneka Gandhi (supra) once again declared that state action must not be guide .....

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a third party and its action must conform to some standard or norm, which is in itself rational and non-discriminatory. 21. In D.S. Nakra v. Union of India 1983 (1) SCC 305, this Court reviewed the earlier pronouncements and while affirming and explaining the same held that it must now be taken to be settled that what Article 14 strikes at is arbitrariness and that any action that is arbitrary must necessarily involve negation of equality. 22. In Dwarkadas Marfatia v. Board of Trustees of the p .....

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p; Ors. (1990) 2 SCC 746 and Sharma Transport v. Government of A.P & Ors. (2002) 2 SCC 188 have simply followed, reiterated and applied the principles settled by the pronouncements in the earlier mentioned cases. 24. We have thus far referred to decisions that are not subject specific and settle the legal position in the context of varied fact situations. The case at hand attracts the application of the principles that are authoritatively settled by the decisions to which we have referred ab .....

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rt to those questions but before we do so we must state that we are not on virgin ground. A few decisions to which we shall presently refer have examined at considerable length, the very same questions and answered them with considerable aplomb. We may gainfully refer to some of those pronouncements if not all. 25. In Shrilekha Vidyarthi v. State of U.P. 1991 (1) SCC 212, which happens to be the first of these decisions, this Court had an occasion to examine whether Government Counsel in the dis .....

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trict Magistrates concerned. On behalf of the State, it was argued that the engagement of Government Counsel was nothing but a professional engagement between a client and his lawyer with no public element attached to it. 26. Rejecting that contention, this Court held that the appointment of the District Government Counsel by the State Government was not merely a professional engagement but had a public element attached to it. This Court noted that Government Counsel were paid remuneration out o .....

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y the assertion that their engagement is purely professional between a client and his lawyer with no public element attached to it. This was according to this Court, sufficient to attract Article 14 and bring the question of validity of the impugned circular within the scope of judicial review. 27. The decision in Shrilekha s case (supra) is noteworthy for the additional reason that the same held judicial review of State action permissible even when the engagement of the Government counsel may b .....

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t only to the contractual obligations and remedies flowing from it. It is really the nature of its personality as State which is significant and must characterize all its actions, in whatever field, and not the nature of function, contractual or otherwise, which is decisive of the nature of scrutiny permitted for examining the validity of its act. The requirement of Article 14 being the duty to act fairly, justly and reasonably, there is nothing which militates against the concept of requiring t .....

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r regulating the conduct of the State activity. 28. Relying upon the decisions of this Court in Ramana Dayaram Shetty v. International Airport Authority of India (1979) 3 SCC 489; Kasturi Lal Lakshmi Reddy v. State of Jammu and Kashmir (1980) 4 SCC 1; Dwarkadas Marfatia and Sons v. Board of Trustees of the Port of Bombay (1989) 3 SCC 293 and Mahabir Auto Stores and Others v. Indian Oil Corporation and others (1990) 3 SCC 752, this Court held that the power of judicial review and the sweep of Art .....

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law. This Court observed : It is now too well-settled that every State action, in order to survive, must not be susceptible to the vice of arbitrariness which is the crux of Article 14 of the Constitution and basic to the rule of law, the system which governs us. Arbitrariness is the very negation of the rule of law. Satisfaction of this basic test in every State action is sine qua non to its validity and in this respect, the State cannot claim comparison with a private individual even in the fi .....

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ation while considering the suitability of the appointees yet the impugned State action appeared to have been taken with the sole object of terminating all existing appointments irrespective of the subsistence or expiry of the tenure or the suitability of the incumbents. The following passage from the judgment sums up the trend of the judicial pronouncements which increasingly favour State activity even in contractual matter being brought within the purview of judicial review: In our view, bring .....

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in clear terms. This appears to be also the trend of the recent English decisions. It is in consonance with our commitment to openness which implies scrutiny of every State action to provide an effective check against arbitrariness and abuse of power. We would much rather be wrong in saying so rather than be wrong in not saying so. Non-arbitrariness, being a necessary concomitant of the rule of law, it is imperative that all actions of every public functionary, in whatever sphere, must be guide .....

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eir removal was against the principles of natural justice and that they could be removed from their offices only for valid reasons. The High Court agreed with that contention, allowed the petition and quashed the orders of removal. The State assailed that order before this Court in which this Court examined the issue from three different dimensions viz., (i) the nature of the legal profession; (ii) the interest of public; and (iii) the modes of appointment and removal. 31. While dealing with the .....

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. Having said that, this Court noted the changed profile of the legal profession because of the expansion of public sector activities necessitating maintenance of a common panel of lawyers, some of whom are in full-time employment of the government or public institutions as their law officers. 32. On the question of public interest involved in the appointment of lawyers, this Court unequivocally declared that the government or the public body represents public interest and whoever is in charge o .....

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bodies are under an obligation to make earnest efforts to select the best from the available lot. This is more so because the claims made by and/or against the public bodies are monetarily substantial and socially crucial with farreaching consequences. 33. This Court while dealing with the third dimension touching the mode of appointment of lawyers declared that in conformity with the obligation cast upon them those handling the affairs of the State are duty bound to select the most meritorious, .....

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he posts is by far the best mode of such selection. But sometimes the best may not compete or a competent candidate may not be available from among the competitors. In such circumstances, the public bodies may resort to other methods such as inviting and appointing the best available, although he may not have applied for the post. Whatever the method adopted, it must be shown that the search for the meritorious was undertaken and the appointments were made only on the basis of the merit and not .....

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Court, be made for pursuing a political purpose or for giving some undue advantage to any particular section. The State should replace an efficient, honest and competent lawyer only when it is in a position to appoint a more competent lawyer in his place, observed this Court. The following passage is apposite in this regard: 44. Only when good and competent counsel are appointed by the State, the public interest would be safeguarded. The State while appointing the public prosecutors must bear i .....

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yer, inter alia, when it is in a position to appoint a more competent lawyer. In such an event, even a good performance by a lawyer may not be of much importance. (emphasis supplied) 35. While dealing with the nature of office the government counsel hold, this Court declared that the State Government Counsel holds an office of great importance. They are not only officers of the court but also the representatives of the State and that courts repose a great deal of confidence in them. They are sup .....

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aracter, competence, sufficient experience as also standing at the Bar. The need for employing meritorious and competent persons to maintain the standard of the high office cannot be minimized, observed the court, particularly, when the holders of the post have a public duty to perform. The Court also expressed anguish over the fact that in certain cases the recommendations are made by the District Magistrate having regard to the political affinity of the lawyers to the party in power and that S .....

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recognized by the Court. 36. The development of law in this country has taken strides when it comes to interpreting Articles 14 and 16 and their sweep. Recognition of power exercisable by the functionaries of the State as a trust which will stand discharged only if the power is exercised in public interest is an important milestone just as recognition of the Court s power of judicial review to be wide enough to strike at and annul any State action that is arbitrary, unguided, whimsical, unfair o .....

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not for public good in that the same was either malafide, unfair, unreasonable or discriminatory. Extension of the principle even to contractual matters or matters like engagement of law officers is symbolic of the lowering of the threshold of tolerance for what is unfair, unreasonable or arbitrary. The expanding horizons of the jurisprudence on the subject both in terms of interpretation of Article 14 of the Constitution as also the court s willingness to entertain pleas for judicial review is .....

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tate Government or for public bodies who together constitute the single largest litigant in our Court system. Statistics show that nearly 80% of litigation pending in the courts today has State or one of its instrumentalities as a party to it. State Counsel/counsel appointed by public bodies thus represent the largest single litigant or group engaged in litigation. It is also undeniable that for a fair, quick and satisfactory adjudication of a cause, the assistance which the Court gets from the .....

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n scholarship, experience or commitment is bound to adversely affect the task of administration of justice by the Court. Apart from adversely affecting the public interest which State counsel are supposed to protect, poor quality of assistance rendered to the courts by State Counsel can affect the higher value of justice itself. A fair, reasonable or non-discriminatory process of appointment of State Counsel is not thus demanded only by the rule of law and its intolerance towards arbitrariness b .....

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administration of justice which so heavily banks upon the assistance rendered by the members of the Bar. 38. To sum up, the following propositions are legally unexceptionable: (i) The Government and so also all public bodies are trustees of the power vested in them. (ii) Discharge of the trust reposed in them in the best possible manner is their primary duty. (iii) The power to engage, employ or recruit servants, agents, advisors and representatives must like any other power be exercised in a f .....

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s not just a professional engagement, but such appointments have a public element attached to them. (vii) Appointment of Government Counsel must like the discharge of any other function by the Government and public bodies, be only in public interest unaffected by any political or other extraneous considerations. (viii) The government and public bodies are under an obligation to engage the most competent of the lawyers to represent them in the Courts for it is only when those appointed are profes .....

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im an extension in the term for which he/she is initially appointed. But all such candidates can offer themselves for appointment, re-appointment or extension in which event their claims can and ought to be considered on their merit, uninfluenced by any political or other extraneous considerations. (xi) Appointments made in an arbitrary fashion, without any transparent method of selection or for political considerations will be amenable to judicial review and liable to be quashed. (xii) Judicial .....

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ch has been as a governmental fiefdom that is immune to judicial review and correction? The Law Commission has, it is heartening to note, addressed a similar question at some length and made meaningful recommendations in its 197th Report. The Commission while examining issues concerning appointment of public prosecutors observed: The Sessions Judge who has knowledge of the caliber, experience and character of lawyers practicing in the Sessions Courts is well suited to suggest the best names of l .....

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g administration of criminal justice in which the public prosecutor has an independent and special role as stated in Chapter II. In as much as the Public Prosecutor is a limb of the judicial process and an officer of Court as stated by the 18 Supreme Court (see Chapter II), any method of appointment which sacrifices the quality of the prosecution or which enables State Governments to make appointments at their choice without proper screening, proper assessment of the qualifications, experience o .....

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e amendment to section 24, removing these checks from the scheme of Section 24, the Commission observed: Appointment procedure laid down in any legislation cannot give arbitrary discretion to State Governments. There must be proper checks in the matter of appointment of Public Prosecutors/Addl. Public Prosecutors in 22 the Sessions Court so that they can be efficient in their functioning, objective and independent of the Police and the Executive. Any scheme of appointments without proper checks .....

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icence for arbitrary appointments and will violate Art. 14. In such cases, assent of the President to the State Amendment can be justifiably refused. (emphasis supplied) 42. The Commission unequivocally supported the need for consultation with the Sessions Judge and with the High Court, as the case may be, for appointment of the public prosecutors for those Courts in the following words: We may reiterate that, so far as sec. 24(4) is concerned, the Public Prosecutor s selection and appointment a .....

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propose some extra provisions in sec. 24(4) requiring that the Session Judge must give importance to experience in Sessions cases, merit and integrity. If such a provision is dispensed with by State Legislatures, obviously such amendments will violate Art. 14. This is so far as the posts of Public Prosecutor and 50% of posts of Addl. Public Prosecutor in the District are concerned. (emphasis supplied) 43. Consultation with the Sessions Judge for a Public Prosecutor in the District judiciary and .....

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controlled, lest a person not suited or competent enough gets appointed to the position for other reasons or considerations. Consultation, in that sense, lends reassurance as to the professional ability and suitability of the appointee. The Commission has on that premise placed a question mark on the validity of State amendment that deletes from Section 24 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Code the need for consultation with the Sessions Judge or the High Court. 44. Taking a cue from the provisi .....

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titutional matters, service and tax matters and every other matter where substantial stakes are involved or matters of grave and substantial importance at times touching public policy and security of State are involved. To treat such matters to be inconsequential or insignificant is to trivialise the role and position of a State Counsel at times described as additional and even Senior Additional Advocate General. What holds good for appointment of a Public Prosecutor as a check on arbitrary exer .....

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fall foul of Article 14 of the Constitution of India and resultantly Rule of law to which the country is committed. 45. We have while dealing with question No.1 held that no lawyer has a right to be appointed as State Government counsel or as public prosecutor at any level nor does he have a vested right to claim extension in the term for which he/she is initially appointed. We have also held that all candidates who are eligible for any such appointment can offer themselves for re-appointment o .....

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ter se merit, suitability and performance if they have already worked as State counsel. To that extent, therefore, there is no difficulty. The question is what should be the mechanism for such consideration. There are in that regard two major aspects that need to be kept in mind. The first is the need for assessment and requirement of the State Governments having regard to the workload in different courts. As noticed earlier, appointments appear to have been made without any realistic assessment .....

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who qualify for the same. The CAG has in that view rightly observed that there ought to be a proper assessment of the need before such appointments are made. 46. The second aspect is about the process of selection and assessment of merit of the candidates by a credible process. This process can be primarily left to the State Government who can appoint a Committee of officers to carry out the same. It will be useful if the Committee of officers has the Secretary to Government, Law Department, who .....

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ittee as the case may be also stipulates the norms for assessment of merit and suitability. 47. The third stage of the process of selection and appointment shall in the absence of any statutory provisions regulating such appointments involve consultation with the District & Sessions Judge if the appointment is at the district level and the High Court if the appointment is for cases conducted before the High Court. It would, in our opinion, be appropriate and in keeping with the demands of tr .....

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y arbitrariness. The same procedure could be followed where candidates are granted extension in their terms of appointment in which case the Committee appointed by the government and that constituted by the Chief Justice could also look into the performance of the candidates during the period they have worked as State counsel. 48. In the result, therefore, we dispose of Transfer Petition No.1073 of 2014 and Civil Appeal arising out of SLP(C) No.8416/2016 (CC No.5470 of 2014) with the following d .....

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e Committee shall on the basis of norms and criteria which the Government concerned may formulate and in the absence of any such norms, on the basis of norms and criteria which the Committee may themselves formulate conduct selection of law officers for the State and submit a panel of names to the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana who may set up a Committee of Judges to review the panel and make recommendations to the Chief Justice. The Chief Justice may based on any such recommendations recor .....

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