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J&K govt appoints Haqani as counsel; replaces Deputy CM's kin

Written by: Staff
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Srinagar, Apr 30 (UNI) The Jammu and Kashmir government has appointed senior High Court lawyer Mohammad Altaf Haqani as the standing counsel for General Administration and Finance Departments.

Mr Haqani replaced Safina Baig, a close relative of Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Baig, after her resignation on Wednesday following flak over her appointment on the post.

Allegations had surfaced that the Deputy Chief Minister had handpicked her for the post overlooking several senior lawyers.

According to a government order, Mr Haqani would be entitled to a monthly retainership of Rs 8000 and counsel fee of Rs 2000 per case besides other emoluments.

''The standing counsel would be paid special fee in important matters as the Deputy Chief Minister may deem reasonable,'' the order read.

While submitting her resignation to the state's Law Commissioner, Ms Safina Baig had termed her decision as a ''sacrifice''.

She said the flak that her appointment drew was actually directed against the Deputy Chief Minister and the situation demanded a ''sacrifice''.

''It is a case where being related to someone in authority becomes a disadvantage and entails sacrifice,'' she wrote in her resignation letter.

UNI AG AK KP1738

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