LDF govt paid Rs 17.87 cr as attorneys’ charge for authorized battle

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Kochi: As the political battle is being dragged to the court, the government has been spending crores on lawyers’ fees. Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF government had paid Rs 17,86,89,823 as fees to lawyers in Supreme Court and High Court till March 4.

Supreme Court Lawyers appeared for the state government for the hearing into Life Mission Case, Crime Branch’s FIR against Enforcement Directorate, Sabarimala airport issue and Thiruvananthapuram airport privatisation row. Fees paid to these lawyers are not included in the amount mentioned above.

Like the LDF government, Oommen Chandy-led UDF government had also spent crores of rupees on legal battle. As per the records, Rs 12,17,51,220 was paid to the lawyers.

137 government advocates including advocate general are appointed in Kerala for giving legal advice and handling cases of the government. But present and the previous government continue to depend on lawyers outside the state by spending crores.

Meanwhile, the government has been spending Rs 1.54 cr to give remuneration to the government lawyers.

A total of Rs 19 lakh was spent on the case related to DGP Senkumar. When the Sabarimala women entry issue led to a legal battle, the government was forced to spend Rs 20.90 lakh. At the same time, Rs 8.25 lakh was spent on the Palarivattom flyover case.

According to reports, the government had spent Rs 25.55 lakh for flight ticket and Rs 10.57 lakh on accommodation of the lawyers who were hired for cases in the High Court.

The details on money spent for the legal battle was revealed in the reply to an RTI petition. Ernakulam native MK Haridas, president of an organisation called Proper Channel filed the RTI petition.

Pinarayi government had spent the highest amount as lawyers’ fee for opposing the petition seeking cancellation of Solar case filed by former CM Oommen Chandy. Rs 1.20 cr was spent for this purpose. Supreme Court lawyer Ranjith Kumar and many others appeared for the case.

Meanwhile, Rs 98.81 lakh was spent for countering the petition seeking a CBI probe into Shuhaib murder case.