Senior lawyers spearheading legal wing of the DMK, however, blame it on a stringent government order issued during the AIADMK regime, and the prevailing pandemic conditions.
Though the 2019 GO has been amended in July 2021 relaxing the stringent conditions, Covid-induced lockdown has delayed the appointment process, they said.
“We received over 2,800 applications for 240 posts. Scrutinising all the applications which run to several pages is not an easy task. We were very particular about selecting only qualified persons,” Tamil Nadu advocate-general R Shunmugasundaram said.
This apart, the short-listed candidate must clear police and Bar council verification. This has also delayed the process, he added. “Recommendations have been made. The appointments might be notified in a week or two,” he said.
As to the allegations that lawyers appointed during the previous AIADMK government are still representing the present government in many courts, Shunmugasundaram said, “Many of these lawyers are refusing to hand over the case bundles even after repeated requests. These issues will be sorted out soon.”
Explaining the causes for the delay in the selection process, DMK Rajya Sabha MP and designated senior advocate N R Elango said: “DMK came to power in May. Courts reopened in June, that too only virtually. Necessary amendments were made to the rules in July. Only in August were we able to start the selection process.”
Noting that there were many impediments in the 2019 rules, Elango said, “An applicant should mandatorily provide income tax returns to show income of minimum Rs 1 lakh. Many could not comply with this condition as the profession was severely affected due to Covid-19.”
This apart, the rules required a minimum 3-year practise in the high court. All these impediments were removed by amending the rules, he said.