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Around seven months later, in October, a writ petition was filed by MLA Sanjay Satischandra Dutt, urging the state government to appoint a regular AG as soon as possible.
A bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Anuja Prabhudessai admitted the petition, and in an order dated November 28 of this year, directed the state government to set an outer time limit within which the appointment of the new AG would take place. The court also noted,
“…the orders passed by the Acting Advocate General under Section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 have been subject matter of a challenge in this court on the ground that the learned Acting Advocate General is not the Advocate General appointed in accordance with Clause 1 of Article 165
…This situation has caused enormous embarrassment to the learned Additional Advocate General which could have been avoided by appointing the Advocate General…”
When the matter came up for hearing last Friday, the acting AG placed on record a letter from the Law and Judiciary Department. The letter stated that the state government would appoint a new AG on or before December 30 of this year.
This is not the first time Maharashtra has gone through a long period without an Advocate General.
Before Aney’s appointment in October 2015, the state did not have an AG for four months, after Sunil Manohar resigned from the post in June 2015.
Read the order dated December 23: