Bhubaneswar, Sept 2
Engaging lawyers to defend the state government before the Justice Shah Commission of Enquiry in the multi-crore mining scam has made the state exchequer poorer by a staggering Rs 68.68 lakh.
The services of senior Supreme Court advocate UU Lalit, Sibasis Mishra and Subhransu Padhi, besides that of state Advocate General Ashok Mohanty, were requisitioned by the Law department on the request of the Steel and Mines department to appear before the Justice Shah Panel at Ahmedabad and Bhubaneswar during the course of the hearing, revealed official sources.
The advocates were engaged to defend and protect the interest of the State. The Advocate General had drawn a total sum of Rs 9 lakh towards appearance fee at the rate of Rs 1 lakh per day during the period from January 12 last to April 21 and Rs 1, 97, 877 towards Travelling Allowance, which included hotel accommodation, sources disclosed.
The state government had spent Rs 67,937 towards to and fro fare, hotel accommodation and conveyance, etc for Supreme Court senior counsel UU Lalit, lawyer Sibasis Mishra and junior lawyer Subhransu Padhi.
Sources said that Lalit charged Rs 16.50 lakh per appearance. He had appeared before the Shah Commission on January 12, March 1 and 16 last and was paid Rs 66 lakh.
Mishra was paid Rs 1.25 lakh for appearance on January 1, February 28, March 1, 2 and 16 last at the rate of Rs 25,000 per appearance.
Similarly, Padhi was paid Rs 75,000 for appearance on January 12, February 2, March 1, 2 and 16 last at the rate of Rs 15,000 per appearance.