While the Mhadei verdict is partially in favor of Goa, the battle in the Mhadei Water Tribunal has cost the State exchequer, a whopping amount of over Rs. 9 crores. As per the Right to Information reply, the State has spent exactly Rs. 9, 28, 92,019 only on its advocates so far.
Sources at The Herald reported that a total of 42 lawyers were engaged by the State, in its Mhadei dispute against Karnataka. While the professional fees cost the State Rs. 7, 84, 29,000 cr, the accommodation charges of these advocates cost Rs. 14,70,522 and traveling expenses amounted to Rs. 1,29,92,497.
Adv. Atmaram Nadkarni, who played an important role in the State’s success in MWDT, was the costliest of advocates for Goa as he charged a fee of Rs 3.3 lakh for every hearing and Rs 75,000 for every conference. Nadkarni’s total fees since 2015 amount to a whopping Rs 6,39,34,769 (all-inclusive). He represented Goa at 95 hearings and 241 conferences. He traveled to Delhi 92 times and his traveling expenses amounted to around Rs 37,23,269.
Former advocate general, Dattaprasad Lawande was paid a total of Rs. 1, 08, 93,838, which included his professional fees of Rs 86,05,000, accommodation charges of Rs 63,500 and Rs 22,25,338 for traveling to Delhi 71 times.
Adv Pankaj Vernekar was paid an all-inclusive fee of Rs 38,33,635, which included Rs 29,10,000 as professional fees, Rs 75,215 for accommodation and Rs 8,48,420 traveling allowances to Delhi and back.
Similarly, Adv Salvador Santosh Rebello was paid Rs 52,03,391, which included Rs 29,16,750 as professional fees, Rs 5,47,000 as accommodation allowance and Rs 17,39,641 for travelling. Another Advocate Pratap Venugopal was paid Rs 13,40,000 as fees.