AG's appointment: Utt Goenkara seeks intervention of CJ

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Panaji, Jul 5 (UNI) Goan NGO Utt Goenkara today sought the intervention of the Bombay High Court to examine the legality and propriety of Mr Subodh Kantak, continuing as the Advocate General of Goa.

NGO's spokesman Advocate Aires Rodrigues, in a letter to Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar, said Mr Kantak never submitted his resignation to the last Government, headed by Pratapsinh Rane, demitting office on June 5, 2007, but continued in office without even any official order asking him to continue.

Mr Rodrigues had also sent to the Chief Justice a copy of the information received under the Right to Information Act, which also showed that on a note of Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, dated June 18, 2007, a decision was taken to continue Mr Kantak as Advocate General by circulation to the Council of 4 Ministers on a Law department's noting sheet and not by a Cabinet note as required under Rules of Business.

He had also stated that order of appointment of Advocate General Mr Kantak was contrary to the Cabinet decision and the state Government be directed to explain serious lapses and for keeping the full Cabinet in the dark about the legalities/irregularities in an appointment to such an important Constitutional post.

Mr Rodrigues drew the Chief Justice's attention that it was an established convention that the moment the Chief Minister resigns, the Advocate General should put in his papers. Propriety and convention demands that whenever there is a change in Government, the Advocate General submits his resignation though it is another matter that the Government may not accept the resignation.

He has further told the Chief Justice that there being a completely new Government in place, the resignation by Mr Kantak would have been submitted as a matter of propriety and that it is for the first time in history that an Advocate General has managed to get the Cabinet to continue his appointment, without any resignation or provocation for such a decision by the Cabinet.

Seeking that appropriate directions be issued to the state government, Mr Rodrigues has questioned whether propriety and high standards of ethics, specially relating to the Office of the Advocate General, can be permitted to be thrown to the winds bringing total disrepute to the highest Constitutional office in the legal fraternity of the state.

UNI BM OBB SW KN1715

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