The Punjab Dispute Resolution and Litigation Policy, 2018 aims at quick disposal of ongoing litigation and the minimising of institution of new court cases, so as to reduce the financial and administrative burden on the government, an official spokesman said here.
The new policy will help the state government to become an efficient and responsible litigant, he said.
As per the new policy, all legal matters of the government, PSUs and government corporations will be handled by the office of the state advocate general, and panels will be made in consultation with the AG, he added.
In case of disagreement, the matter will be referred to the chief minister. If any department wants to hire lawyers, other than the ones under the AG’s office, then the chief minister’s permission will be required.
The cabinet pointed out that some departments were hiring lawyers from outside even though the AG’s office was spending Rs 2 crore per month on 152 law officers, the spokesman said.
Under the new policy, department employees will be encouraged to settle disputes or use an alternative dispute resolution mechanism, he said.
The government will endeavour to avoid unwarranted litigation in cases where the matter can be resolved or disposed by converting the pending litigation into a representation to the concerned administrative secretary or head of the department for time-bound orders, or where employees’ matters are already covered by judgments that have attained finality, he said.