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India defence ministry to empanel law firms for help on policy, global agreements

Photo: For Representational Purposes Only.

New Delhi: India‘s defence ministry has launched a search for law firms to help it with drafting framework regarding new initiatives and policies, comparative analysis of existing laws and advising the legal course, vetting of documents and agreements, and other such legal matters.

The Ministry of Defence has on Sep. 28 sought Expression of Interest from law firms for the Department of Defence, which i s mandated with the defence of India and defence policy. Interested and eligible law firms have been asked to respond within three weeks.

The Department of Defence deals with lnter-Services Organisations, Defence Accounts Department, Canteen Stores Department (CSD), Indian Coast Guard, National Cadet Corps, Border Roads Organisation, lnstitute for Defence Studies and Analysis, and National Defence College.

lt is also responsible for Defence Budget, Defence Lands and Cantonments, matters relating to Parliament of India, and defence cooperation with foreign countries. lt is headed by Defence Secretary, who is assisted by Director General (Acquisition), Additional Secretaries and Joint Secretaries.

Defence Secretary is also responsible for coordinating the activities ofthe other Departments such as the Department of Military Affairs, Department of Defence Production, Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare and Department of Defence Research and Development in the Ministry of Defence.

The Department of Defence proposes to empanel legal firms for a period of three years. The law firms should have adequate experience in dealing with matters pertaining to public policies, legislative enactments, and security/defence agreements.

The legal firm shall be required to perform various activities on a case-to-case basis based on a stipulated terms of reference. Those activities will include developing suitable legal framework regarding new initiatives and policies of the Department of Defence; undertaking comparative analysis of existing laws, and advise the legal course of action based on best practices available on issues referred by the department; and legal vetting of documents/agreements/memorandum of understanding.

Other legal work would include updation of existing legislatives pertaining to Department of Defence in the light of other laws, court orders, government instructions and policies; to prepare Detailed Project Reports or conduct feasibility study in legal matters.

The legal firms interested to be empanelled should be well acquainted with the statutory and regulatory environment in the defence sector and international guidelines and possess relevant experience; be at least on the panel of any one Central/State/Public Sector Undertaking/Autonomous Organization or Institution; and have adequate legal, administrative and financial capability to undertake the tasks assigned.

Te legal firms should have completed operation for a minimum of five years since its inception/formation. Preference may be given to the legal firms, who have dealt earlier with matters pertaining to security and defence-related issues.

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