Madras High Court directs govt to Appoint Nodal Officer to deal with engagement and payment of fees of Advocate General, Additional AG’s.

TITLE: The State of Tamil Nadu Vs. S.Ramasamy.

Decided On: July 18, 2023.

Writ Appeal No.1102 of 2012 and M.P.No.1 of 2012.

CORAM:  Hon’ble Mr. Justice R. Suresh kumar and K. Kumaresh Babu.


Writ Appeal filed under Clause 15 of Letters Pattern to set aside the order dated 15.11.2021 passed in W.P.No.25027 of 2011 and allow the writ appeal. The Court issued the directions while disposing of a plea filed by former TN Additional AG S Ramasamy in 2011, seeking payment of ₹1.95 crores due as his professional legal fees for having appeared in several matters for the State during his tenure as the Additional AG between the years 2006 and 2011. While Ramasamy’s fee was finally paid by the TN government earlier this year following the High Court’s intervention, the Court said there was an urgent need to have a system in place to avoid such delays in future. A bench of Justices R Suresh Kumar and K Kumaresh Babu also directed that such nodal officer must be responsible for looking after the professional fees claims made by the AG, Additional AG or other senior law officers of the State, and should ensure that their fees are paid within 30 days of raising such claims.


The respondent was the writ petitioner, who is a practising lawyer since 1972 and on 10.06.2006, he was appointed as Additional Advocate General -II of the State of Tamil Nadu and he was subsequently designated as a Senior Advocate and later on 25.09.2009, he was appointed as Additional Advocate General – I. In that capacity, he appeared in several cases for the State of Tamil Nadu before this Court as well as before the Madurai Bench of this Court between 2006 – 2011. He had claimed his eligible fee per day/per case basis and thereafter, he resigned the post of Additional Advocate General – I after the assembly elections results were announced. Therefore, from the year 2006 to 13.05.2011,the respondent writ petitioner submitted various bills for his appearance as Additional Advocate General – II and I in respect of various departments and according to the respondent or petitioner, the outstanding amount is Rs.1,95,01,622/-(One crore Ninety Five lakhs one thousand six hundred and twenty two only). Since that amount had not been given in spite of several representations, he approached the Writ Court by filing a writ petition seeking writ of mandamus. A learned Judge, who heard the matter allowed the writ petition by order dated 15.11.2011, whereby, the learned Judge directed the appellant/department herein to sanction and pay the eligible fee payable to the respondent/petitioner considering the claim made by him within a period of two(2) weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of the said order. Aggrieved over the same, the respondent/State in the writ petition has filed the present writ appeal.

Legal Analysis and Decision:

The Bench also took note of a letter written to the State government by the current TN Advocate General R Shunmugasundaram on June 8 this year seeking a uniform system to engage State law officers and to ratify and pay their fees within a fixed time limit. The AG said that such uniform system was required to streamline engagement of law officers and payment of their fees to avoid embarrassments such as that in the present case. The Court agreed and said that the State government must consider the suggestions made by the AG. It then also issued a specific direction for the appointment of the Nodal officer.

  • In this regard, a Nodal officer in the rank of Secretary or Additional Secretary of the State Government shall be specifically nominated for the purpose of dealing with the requests made on behalf of the various departments for nomination of Advocate General and Additional Advocate General for the appearance in important cases by or against the State Government and its Departments.
  • The Nodal Officer shall also consider and look after the professional fee claim made from time to time by various law officers starting from Advocate General, Additional Advocate General, State Government Pleader, Special Government Pleader, Additional Government Pleader, Government Advocate, etc, and those professional bills, which are made/claimed by such law officers shall be examined and disposed either by way of making the payment or if any ineligible amount is claimed, as per the conditions of appointment of law officers, that can also be stated to the law officers, either way, the claim should be disposed of within a period of 30 days from the date of such claim is made by the law officer concerned.
  • In this regard, in order to assist the Nodal Officer, minimum secretarial staff shall be provided by the State Government. The Nodal Officer shall be in constant touch with all other departments of the State Government with regard to their requirement of appointment of higher law officers on specific cases as well as for the clarifications, etc., to be ascertained for the purpose of verification and clearing of the fee bills.
  • It is made clear that once the Nodal Officer after thorough consideration and verification, clears the professional fee bill of the law officers, the payment shall be made within 30 days thereafter and it should ensured by the Nodal Officer.

 In order to comply the aforesaid directions necessary Government Order shall be issued by the State Government within a period of 30 days from the date of receipt of a copy of this order and a compliance report to that effect shall be filed before this Court on 28.08.2023. With the above directions, this writ appeal is disposed of. No costs. Connected miscellaneous petition is closed.


The Madras High Court Tuesday directed the Tamil Nadu government to appoint a nodal officer holding the rank of Secretary or Additional Secretary to deal with all requests by the State departments to engage the Advocate General (AG) or the Additional Advocate Generals in important cases before the Court.

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