SC asks Punjab, Haryana to transparently appoint law officers

New Delhi, March 30 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked Punjab and Haryana to constitute their respective search committees to be headed by their law secretaries to select government law officers in a fair and transparent manner.

The apex court bench headed by Chief Justice T.S. Thakur in its order said the names selected by the search committee would be sent to the chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court who, in turn, would get it examined by a committee of the high court judges.

The court said two State governments would take into consideration the comments of the Punjab and Haryana High Court chief justice before making appointments.

Without disturbing the existing appointments of the government law officers, the court said the entire process of selection and appointment of government law officers would be fair and transparent based on merit, performance and the standing of the lawyers.

The court said the search committee would make an assessment of the performance and standing of the lawyers while considering them for appointment as law officers. However, the court allowed Advocate Generals of Punjab and Haryana to appoint law officers of merits.

Having laid down the procedure for the appointment of the government law officers, the apex court said that other states “will well reform their system (for the appointment of law officers) by amending their rules and regulations”.

The court verdict came on the plea by the Punjab government which had challenged the high court order putting on hold the removal of Brijeshwar Singh Chahal, who was appointed law officer by the earlier government.

In the course of the hearing, the issue of the appointment of law officers in Haryana too was raised by Pradeep Kumar Rajria.

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