Warning on account of deficiencies in payment to lawyers: Punjab High Court.

The Punjab High Court, in Vikram Bajaj v/s Union of India and others (CWP-8577-2022), held Officials of Army’s Western Command over delay in payment of fee to lawyers. The judgement was presided by Honorable Mr. Justice Vinod S. Bhardwaj.


The learned counsel representing the various unit of the armed forces raised bills that have not made the payment to the advocates. No valid explanations of the same have been held for the same. The officials demanded the advocates to submit fresh bills along with certified copies. The petitioners approached the court after a wait of almost six years in delay of payments. Moreover, the aforementioned mentioned demand by the officers were taken in regard and fulfilled thrice, but the order sheets were returned due to frivolities and were not signed. The learned counsel for the respondents held that audit of the bills cannot be cleared after the lapse of 2 years. Further, it was contended that only the processing of the bills could be undertaken.


The court held that no valid explanation was put forth as to why the communication regarding the deficiencies in the bills had not been conveyed to the counsel expeditiously to enable them to remove the same. Also, it was observed that the authority responsible for marking the cases to the counsel to defend was not even aware of whether the fee for defending the cases had been disbursed. The Court held that the state of affairs was unacceptable and tentatively posed a charged of Rs.25 lakhs on the respondent-authorities on grounds of willful neglect.


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