CHENNAI:: The Madras High Court has directed all the banks to review the current procedure for selecting lawyers and devise a new procedure.
Advocate Marimuthu filed a case in the High Court seeking to select lawyers for the banks following the legal procedure and to provide proper representation to the Adi Dravidas, Tribals and Other Backward Communities.
Hearing the petition, Justice SM Subramaniam passed the order:
In nationalized banks and public sector banks, it is necessary to consider whether selection of list of lawyers is in accordance with the Constitution. If we look at the current practice, it seems that the deserving are being denied equal opportunity. Not according to equality as enshrined in the Constitution. Officers choose at will.
According to the Constitution, equal opportunity should be provided in public employment. Bar list examination for banks cannot be treated as bank job appointment. Lawyers are engaged on contract basis for a fixed period.
Nationalized Banks and Public Sector Banks, being in the context of the Government, cannot escape from the responsibility of following the principle of equal opportunity enshrined in the Constitution.
In nationalized banks and public sector banks, due to large number of cases handled, qualified lawyers should be selected; Adi Dravidas, tribals and other backward sections should also be given due opportunity. Applications will be received from qualified advocates and public notification procedure will be followed. Equal opportunity should be given to all who deserve it.
Therefore, Banks including Indian Bank, Canara Bank, should review the current practice of lawyer selection; The work of devising the new procedure should be completed in four months. Thus the judge ordered.