Govt still has no litigation policy

FPJ BureauUpdated: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 02:20 AM IST
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The information was disclosed by the Department of Legal Affairs in the Union Law Ministry in response to an RTI application by activist Dr Nutan Thakur.

New Delhi : A national litigation policy formulated in 2010 could not get the government’s approval and its reformulation has not been completed even after seven years as it is “still under consideration.”

This was disclosed by the Department of Legal Affairs in the Union Law Ministry in response to an RTI (Right to Information) application by activist Dr Nutan Thakur.

The department declined to provide other documents related to the process of reformulation of the policy, citing Section 8(1)(i) of the RTI that excludes cabinet papers from RTI.

In a statement, Nutan said it is truly strange that the Centre could not complete such an important work during the last seven years despite the fact that litigations by the government are increasing at an alarming rate, chocking the Courts already burdened with a backlog of the pending cases.

After the Modi government took over in 2014, then Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda had dug out the abandoned litigation policy of the UPA-II era that was drafted by then law minister M Veerappa Moily and told a Press conference on 19.11.2014 that he had ordered its redrafting and would place it before the Cabinet soon after consulting various ministries.

Gowda had even gone to the extent of announcing that the new policy will prevent the inter-ministerial litigations by ensuring the government departments and bodies do not rush to court against each other, and that he was also approaching all ministries to amend laws to reduce the court cases.

Whether the new policy was drafted and whether it remains stuck in the Cabinet could not be ascertained since RTI applicant was shut out on the ground that the Cabinet papers are not covered under the RTI Act.

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