The Delhi High Court observed that despite repeated instructions to the AAP government to clear the professional invoices of lawyers hired by it, the same was not done as lawyers went to court to obtain repair.
Judge Prathiba M Singh said a High Court division bench hearing a PIL for clearing government attorneys’ bills last year ordered the Delhi government to pay dues outstanding since before the 1st February 2020.
Subsequently, orders to set off the bills of individual lawyers were also adopted by single judges on the grounds put forward by the lawyers, the court observed.
“Despite this, it appears that the bills are not paid and lawyers are forced to file written petitions,” he said and added that “this petition is another case filed against the Delhi government asking the payment of the professional invoices of the petitioner, who is a lawyer “.
The court heard the plea of Pranay Ranjan asking for the compensation of his professional invoices.
Mr Ranjan told the court that after filing the petition, his 2019 invoices were erased, but not those for 2018, and the unpaid amount was 3.46 lakh.
The court ordered that “the request be forwarded to the legal secretary of the GNCTD”.
“It is ordered that the invoices of the petitioner (Ranjan), subject to verification, be cleared within 30 days,” he added.
The court also allowed him to bring a claim if the dues were not paid and warned the Delhi government that if such a situation were to arise, it would also direct the payment of interest on the unpaid dues and impose a fee.