Press "Enter" to skip to content

HC Double Bench stays interim order stopping appointment of Law Officers

Last Updated on August 5, 2021 at 4:52 pm

A double bench of High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh has stayed  the effect and operation of interim order of Single bench issued in response to a petition stopping fresh appointment of Law Officers except that of Advocate General, even as it accepted to treat the petitioned matter as Public Interest Litigation.

The Double Bench comprising Chief Justice JK&L High Court Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Puneet Gupta stayed the interim order but subject to any order that may be passed in the above referred Public Interest Litigation.

 The Double Bench was hearing the Letters Patent Appeal (LPA) directed against the order dated 29.06.2021 of the learned Single Judge passed in Writ Petition (C) No. 1087/2020 ‘Sushil Chandel Vs. Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and others’ with the following observations.  

 The learned Single Judge in the said order after making certain observations on the merits of the petition vis-a-vis that “I am, therefore, of the considered view that the Policy of the engagement of Government Lawyers at all levels deserves fresh look and it is imperative that these engagements are merit based and do not fall foul of Article 14 of the Constitution of India” directs the petition to be treated as Public Interest Litigation (PIL) and as such observed to place it before the Chief Justice for listing before the appropriate Bench in terms of Rule 24 (8) of the Writ Proceeding Rules, 1997, but in doing so the single bench has further provided that till the matter is considered by the Bench dealing with the PIL, no fresh appointments shall be made of the Law Officers except the Advocate General.

 In other words, while recusing to hear the writ petition and directing it to be treated as a Public Interest Petition and laid before the appropriate Bench dealing with the PIL, the Single Judge proceeded to comment on the merits and passing interim order stopping all appointments of Law Officers in the Union Territory except the Advocate General.