Govt okays PWD request for legal expert to deal with surmounting court cases

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IMPHAL, July 12: The state government has provided a sigh of relief to the Public Works Department by accepting a SOS from the department to appoint a law graduate on special duty to handle its legal hassles.
Weighed heavily by the excessive numbers of court cases piling up, the department had forwarded the proposal to the government which found clearance following a recommendation by the committee of officers.
According to a reliable source, the PWD has been acknowledged by the government as one of the departments in the state with the highest number of court case, with at least 600 cases pending in various courts including the Supreme Court, Sr. Civil Judge, Imphal West, Family Court and cases pending under various acts like the Manipur Personal Liabilities Act, Right to Information Act, 2005 etc.
Furthermore, the department has other unresolved cases relating to family pension, payment of arrears, appointment under die in harness scheme, seniority list of AEs, arbitration cases, outstanding properties, motor accident claims, unauthorized occupation of government quarters and others related to unauthorized encroachment on government land etc.
However, officials in the department have contended that the non-availability of a legal expert in the department has resulted in the continous accumulation of cases, the source added.
So far, all cases concerning the department have been dealt directly by the superintending engineer, SE, hq as the nodal officer, with the help of the assistant private secretary to the chief engineer. As they lacked expertise in the matter, it has only resulted in the more accumulation of the court cases.
Even though the department has a legal advisor under its pay roll, his service is limited only to the preparation of counter affidavits and filing of affidavits before the respective courts.
The department has as such felt the need of a law graduate or a legal expert to deal with the pending cases and had sent a proposal to the state for appointment of an OSD.

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