Against the backdrop of various litigants making the Prime Minister's Office and the cabinet secretariat parties in court cases, all ministries have been asked to ensure that top institutions do not get embroiled in cases not related to them.
In a recent circular, the cabinet secretariat has told all ministries that if they find that either the PMO or the cabinet secretariat have been made parties in a court case relating to their department, they should immediately implead themselves as respondents and try to get the names of the principal secretary to the prime minister and the cabinet secretariat removed as respondents.
The circular said while judicial relief sought on grievances is usually granted, non-compliance results in contempt petitions impleading the Principal Secretary to PM and cabinet secretariat.
It said ministries would henceforth handle representations or petitions sent to PMO or cabinet secretariat regarding their subject, take prompt action and ask the applicants to address future correspondence to them so that the top institutions are not unnecessarily dragged to courts.
"The matter has been examined... the primary responsibility for the disposal of government business rests with ministries and departments concerned in terms of the government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1977; except to the extent the business is specifically allocated to the Cabinet Secretariat or PMO," states the circular.