Proposal on law officers for every central ministry soon

RSTV Bureau
File photo of North Block at Raisina Hill in New Delhi.

File photo of North Block at Raisina Hill in New Delhi.

The Union Law Ministry will soon finalise a proposal seeking to depute its law officers in every ministry. So far, law ministry officials are posted in the defence and the railway ministries. The aim is to facilitate speedy legal advice to the ministries and departments on complex issues.

The proposal, which is being giving a final shape as per reports, may also pitch that the courts could only be approached as a last resort and cases with lean chances of winning are not pursued.

The Prime Minister’s Office and the Cabinet Secretariat are keen that the proposal is finalised soon, a senior government functionary has said.

According to the proposal, the strength of Indian Legal Service cadre may be increased so that its officers are deputed in various ministries. It also plans to set up an integrated legal division on the lines of integrated finance division.

The officers attached to the division would report to the department of legal affairs in the law ministry and also get their salaries from it. This would ensure their independence which is necessary for them to be able to give an impartial legal advice, the functionary said.

The move will ensure that legal advice required by various ministries is not delayed as every ministry will have law ministry officials ready for counsel.

The officials would report to their unit or group heads in the law ministry who would also help them resolve complicated legal issues.

These officials would also ensure that the ministries in which they are posted approach courts only when they are satisfied that litigation is the last resort left to settle a dispute.

The cases which have lean chance of winning by the government will not be pursued further. A majority of the cases in which government is party relates to service disputes and indirect taxes.

(With inputs from PTI)