The Goa Government paid Advocate General Atmaram Nadkarni by way of fees and other allowances a whopping Rs 2,055,9032 (two crores fifty five lakhs nine thousand and thirty two rupees) for the two years from March 2012 to March 2014. This has been revealed in the information furnished by the Directorate of Accounts under the Right to Information Act. As per the information the Goa Government also spent a further Rs 10,14,869 (ten lakhs fourteen thousand eight hundred and sixty nine rupees) on the business class airfare for the 17 trips made to Delhi by Advocate General Atmaram Nadkarni from January 2013 to March 2014.
It is an irony that Goa being the smallest state is not only hosting India’s highest paid Advocate General but the country’s highest paid public servant. In public interest the fees payable to the Advocate General of Goa should be immediately slashed and brought on par with other states. Compared with the fees paid to other Advocate Generals across the country, the very exorbitant fees being currently paid to the Advocate General of Goa is nothing short of a loot and plunder of the State’s exchequer. And how is Advocate General Atmaram Nadkarni allowed to travel to Delhi by business class when all public officials are required to travel only by economy class and more so in view of the troubled economic times that Goa is facing.
It may be recalled that Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on 23rd May 2012 had directed that the fees of Advocate General Atmaram Nadkarni be hiked due to the very high inflation being faced by the Advocate General.
The government by an order issued on 8th April last year hiked the fees of the Advocate General from a monthly maximum of five lakhs to eight lakhs. The Advocate General’s per appearance fee before the High Court was hiked from Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 per case per day. In addition the Advocate General is also paid Rs 75,000 per day on every visit to Delhi regardless of whether he appears before the Supreme Court or not. The hike in the Advocate General’s fees was made retrospective with effect from 1st April 2012. The Advocate General also gets 15 personal staff as entitled to a Cabinet Minister.