Bills pending with Guv: Govt paid Rs 47 lakh so far for legal advice | Thiruvananthapuram

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Government is battling out with the Governor politically as well as legally.

It has sought legal advice from legal luminaries as it tries to break the impasses over a clutch of bills Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has refused to give assent.

Bypassing its own Law Department, the State has engaged the services of lawyers and has already paid Rs 46.90 lakh to them.

Fali S Nariman, senior advocate of the Supreme Court, alone received Rs 30 lakh. Advocate Subhash Sharma was paid Rs 9.90 lakh.

Safeer Ahmed received Rs 3 lakh and Clerk Vinod K Anand was given Rs 3 lakh.

These amounts were paid as per the recommendation of the Advocate General. 

In addition, Kerala Government allowed Rs 15.50 lakh to be transferred from the treasury to senior advocate Kapil Sibal.

This was for appearing for the State over the petition filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seeking transfer of the hearing on the diplomatic gold smuggling to a court outside Kerala.

During the previous Assembly session, 11 Bills were passed.

Among them, four, including the one related to curtailing the powers of the Lokayukta and another intending to prevent the intervention of the Governor in the functioning of the universities, are yet to receive the Governor’s nod.

Two other Bills passed last year also have not been approved by the Governor. 

The universities bill proposes to take away the powers of the Governor to appoint the convenor of the search committee to select new vice-chancellors.

Meanwhile, the Lokayukta Bill removed the provision in the Lokayukta Act which made it mandatory for persons holding public office to resign in the event of an adverse order by the Lokayukta.

According the bill passed by the Assembly, the government could either accept or reject the Lokayukta order.