New Delhi: The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court has asked the Deputy Legal Advisor of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Lucknow Zone to explain in two weeks why the agency had only one lawyer on its panel to argue cases in the high court.
When Justice Chandra Dhari Singh enquired during a hearing, he was told that no such empanelled advocate was available to argue the matter on behalf of the CBI, because the only lawyer on the panel had taken ill. That lawyer is ASG SB Pandey. This was revealed by advocate Kazim Ibrahim, the counsel appearing on behalf of the Union of India.
When the High Court asked advocate Ibrahim to assist the court on behalf of the CBI instead, he informed that he was not authorised to argue or assist on behalf of the CBI.
This prompted the court to query whether the CBI had any panel of counsels to represent the agency in the absence of the ASG.
The Court observed: “It is very strange that CBI is keeping only one advocate to argue the matter and nobody is available to assist the ASG. The court has taken very serious view of the matter as nobody is available to assist the court on behalf of the CBI in absence of ASG.”
The High Court has, therefore, sought an explanation to be filed by way of affidavit in two weeks time “as to why only one Advocate is assigned to argue entire cases of CBI filed in the High Court.”
The matter will be taken up next on September 22.
Read the order here;
-India Legal Bureau