Cong to pack courts with party loyalists?

via http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Cong-to-pack-courts-with-party-loyalists-/articleshow/5733657.cms published on March 28, 2010

NEW DELHI: Congress-leaning lawyers have raised the pitch for assignments from the government. A Congress convention, which brought together lawyers from Congress legal cells in the states, was set abuzz when populist voices were raised, with one directly asking for party-affiliated lawyers to be accommodated in various panels, and even in the judiciary.

Union law minister Veerappa Moily urged the AICC’s legal department headed by Abhishek Singhvi to create a national database of lawyers affiliated with Congress. ‘‘… we can form domain expertise using their experience; we can train them in different fields and ultimately bond them into mainstream of judiciary,’’ he said.

The call, with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the dais, led to murmurs in the gathering as it was interpreted that there will be a preference for lawyers affiliated with the Congress in the selection for judiciary.

The organizing body headed by Abhishek Singhvi demanded that an Alternative Disputes Redressal system be formed and named after Rajiv Gandhi. Government sources said there is an International Centre for ADR lying dysfunctional and the Prime Minister is unhappy about it. Sources said it could be renamed and made active.

DPCC chief J P Aggarwal got a thunderous applause when he said Congress needed to bring its lawyers on official panels and appointments. Aggarwal, speaking at a working session on ‘‘Human rights, common man and contemporary exigencies’’ chaired by home minister P Chidambaram, said it was found that lawyers who were with the Congress were ignored at the time of selection for various panels. ‘‘Why will they carry your flag?’’ he asked, making a forceful plea.

At the end of the day, Singhvi assured the meeting that the law minister
agreed with the demand made by Aggarwal and steps would be taken in this direction in future.

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