New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) India’s armed forces spent Rs 26.12 crore in legal expenses in the financial year 2019-20 up to February 2020, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in Parliament on Monday.
“A total of Rs 26,12,30,810 has been spent for legal expenses by Army, Navy and Air Force for the year 2019-20 (up to February, 2020),” Singh said in the Rajya Sabha, replying to the query of a member of the House.
Elaborating, the minister said that the legal expenses include payment of fee, remuneration, professional charges to advocates, law firms, arbitrators, conference, conveyance charges, clerkage, retainer fee, expenses incurred by the government counsel on drafting of Special Leave Petition/Counter Affidavit/Rejoinder, drawing up written submissions, drafting or appearance, preparation of suites, writ petitions and appeals.
“Payment of fee to counsel for various cases is only a part of the legal expenditure,” Singh said.
Fee bills of government counsels appearing in cases filed by or against the Army, Navy and Air Force in the Supreme Court, Delhi High Court and Lower Courts in Delhi jurisdiction are being paid through the Ministry of Law and Justice.
When the member A. Mohammedjan (AIADMK) asked whether it is also a fact that the government has been undertaking excessive litigation, the defence minister replied “no”.
He said appeals are filed before the appellate courts, Supreme Court against the impugned judgments of the lower courts only after case to case examination in detail, and subsequent to obtaining the opinion of Legal Advisor (Defence) and Law Officers that is Solicitor General of India, Additional Solicitor General of India.