Chennai: In a bid to stop the practice of arraigning the chief secretary of the state government indiscriminately in all cases filed against the state and its departments, the Madras high court has directed the registry not to permit impleading of chief secretary, unless warranted.
“The chief secretary is impleaded indiscriminately, even in petitions seeking grant of patta, cancellation of patta, issuance of legal heir certificate, cancellation of trade licenses, provision of electricity connections and so on and so forth,” Justice M Govindaraj has said.
The court passed the order in view of submissions made by additional advocate-general J Ravindran raising serious concern of impleading the chief secretary as a party respondent in many writ petitions unmindful of the fact as to whether the issue pertains to the chief secretary or not.
The chief secretary who holds a sensitive post is being added as a party respondent right, left and centre even in cases where he is not at all an answering respondent. This is causing great hardship, Ravindran said.
Concurring with his submissions, Justice Govindarajan passed the direction to the registry.
The issue pertains to a plea moved by S Ramaswamy, who was a law officer in 2012 challenging refusal of sanction of fee claimed by him for his service to the government.
Allowing his plea, the court noted that law officers should be given due respect for their dedication in defending the government. “The fee structure of the law officers shall be revised once in three years corresponding to the price index. If the bill is submitted by a law officer, it shall be settled at once, if not within a maximum of two months,” the court said.