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Guidelines

This section provides guidelines for the law officers.
Examination of Cases Top

As and when a case is to be conducted by a law officer, he is supposed to look for the following:

  • Whether proper parties have been impleaded
  • Whether an authorized person has identified the signatory of pleadings
  • Locus Standi and authorization (if required or necessary, as in the case of a Company and other juristic persons should be checked) of the petition
  • What and against whom relief has been asked for
  • Under what dispensation the case has been filed (e.g. Articles 199, 185(3), 184 of the Constitution, Section 96 CPC, Order 43 CPC, Section 55 of the Land Acquisition Act, etc.)
  • Whether all necessary documents according to index have been filed
  • Whether copies attached are certified or uncertified, have these been procured properly
  • What is the interim relief asked for and against whom
  • Whether any intervention is required at the preliminary stage
  • In case the law officer is of the opinion that a very important issue is highlighted, he will immediately intimate the Advocate General or Senior Additional Advocate General or the Chief of Staff for guidance, as the case may be
   
Procedure after Issuance of Notice Top

Following steps should be taken when the Honourable Court issues notice after hearing:

  • A comprehensive letter should be sent to the Department/officer to whom the Court has directed
  • Letter should contain
     
  • Name of Court and date of hearing (present and proposed)
  • Gist of grievance of the petitioner
  • Observation of the Court
  • Order of Court that whether Report and Parawise Comments are to be filed or Instructions are to be sought
  • If a Stay Order has been passed, it should be seen by the law officer if an application for recall or  vacation of the stay is to be filed or if it is a fit case, to challenge the same before the next higher forum. In any case, the provisions of Article 199 (4A) should be kept in view for the purposes of duration of the stay granted and at all given times provisions of Article 199 (4) shall be pressed into service.
   
Report and Comments Top

The Report should include brief history of the case and stance of the Department

  • Comments should be:
    • In annotated form
    • Comprehensive issue-wise reply should be given
    • All necessary documents to be annexed supporting the contents of the Comments
    • Counter Affidavit (if required)
  • Before Report and Parawise Comments are filed, it should be ensured by the law officer that the same should be vetted by him and a meeting in this regard be held with an official conversant with the facts and record of the case
  • All necessary legible documents should be appended with the comments
   
Instructions Top
  • The instructions should always be sought in writing
  • Signed by the person issuing the Instructions
   
Rules for Government Departments/Officials Top
  • An official not below BPS-17 should appear in Court in person and his statement should be recorded [Reference] [2004] SCMR 1247
  • This should be ensured that he has been authorized by the Department [Reference] PLD 1999 Journal 95 
   
Conduct and Dress Code for Law Officer Top

A law officer:

  • Should be properly dressed as mentioned in HC (R+O) and Bar Council Act
  • Should conduct himself with dignity and honour and should not involve himself in unnecessary altercations with other lawyers
  • Should be polite and humble when addressing the Court, without compromising his professional duties 
  •  Is in the first place supposed to answer the questions raised by the Court and thereafter he should make his submissions
  • A law officer in the first place is to answer the questions/quries asked / raised by the court and thereafter he should make his submissions
   
Preparation of Case Top

While preparing the case, law officers should prepare comprehensive notes which should contain:

  • Necessary facts jotted down in Chronological order with the relevant dates
  • Law officer should be conversant with the latest law on the subject
  • In case of availability of alternate remedy, its scope and efficacy should be examined and highlighted before the Court
  • All necessary law books (statutes as well as the reference books) should accompany the law officer while going to the Court
   
Behaviour with Departmental Officials Top
  • It shall be imperative that the law officers should specify a date and time to the official with whom they shall be meeting or whom they have summoned for meeting
  • In case the official does not turn up, a letter be sent to the concerned Secretary with a copy to the  Advocate General
  • In every case it should be the FOCAL PERSON, who should be contacted first and with his collaboration further modus operandi should be devised by the law officer
  • No matter what the situation be, the law officer shall not be harsh with the departmental official and in case of any grievance, matter should be immediately reported to the Advocate General Punjab or the Administrative Secretary
  • Attendance Sheet in the form of attached proforma must be used so that the record regarding attendance is kept by the law officer himself for ready reference and convenience
   
Court Decision against Government Top

If any case is decided against the Government:

  • Department should be immediately intimated in writing
  • Certified copy of the order should be procured
  • As and when the certified copy is received, it should be immediately sent to the Department along with the opinion by the law officer that what is the remedy available against the said order enabling the Department to proceed so that no damage is done 
  • Also see PLD 1999 Journal 95
   
Filing of Cases Top

When cases are assigned for filing

  • Law officer should see that what is the remedy available against the order to be impugned  
  • For proper array of parties, the provisons of Article 174 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 read with Section 79 and Order 27 CPC, 1908, should be kept in mind
  • Period of limitation
  • In case all necessary documents are not provided, FOCAL PERSON should immediately be contacted both telephonically and in writing
  • A meeting with a person, who is conversant with the facts of the case should immediately be convened
  • Law officer should independently examine the documents provided/procured and in case, a case is made out, it should be prepared and filed without any further delay
  • In case, law officer is of the opinion that no case is made out or it shall be an exercise in futility, an opinion should immediately be drafted and sent to the Advocate General, who shall take a final decision
  • In case the remedy to be availed is time barred, the law officers shall immediately contact the department for providing valid reasons for condonation of delay supported by an affidavit. (Also see PLD 1999 Journal 95 and 2010 SCMR 1899)
  • This should also be ensured that in case the department has fixed responsibility of delay on any person(s), whether departmental proceedings have been initiated against the delinquent officials and if so its status
  • The quantum of loss which the Government is to suffer due to non-filing of case within time. Where it is not possible to mention the quantum as such, then the seriousness of the matter should clearly be highlighted
   
Advice to the Government Department Top
  • All law officers are supposed to advise the Government Departments to the best of their abilities
  • Any advice sought by the department has to be routed through the Advocate General Punjab. In case a department directly approaches a law officer, the matter should immediately be reported to the  Advocate General
  • In all circumstances apart from assisting the Courts, the law officers are supposed to watch the interest of the Government of the Punjab whether on notice or not to the best of their abilities
  • Inspite of the opposition by the law officer, if an interim order is passed, which adversely affects the interest of the Government or an order has been passed, which is without jurisdiction, the law officer will analyze the proposition and after discussing the same with the Worthy Advocate General, will suggest the concerned department of the remedies available against the said order. Where the Advocate General has given a green signal, law officer decides that an application for early hearing, vacation of stay, modification of the order or an application under Order VII Rule 11 CPC shall suffice, the same should immediately be filed without any delay and/or waiting for a sanction from the Solicitor’s Office