Advocates Welfare Trust has informed the Delhi High Court that the advocates who are members of the Trust will get reimbursed for the medical expenses incurred on the treatment for COVID19.
The said information was given before the Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan in a PIL filed by Vaibhav Sharma seeking financial assistance for advocates suffering from COVID19.
The Trust has also assured the court it will also be utilising its fund for granting ex gratia relief.
Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, who appeared for the Trust, submitted that ₹2 crore have already been allotted for the aforesaid purpose and a sub-committee shall also be constituted for disbursement of the funds.
Mr Jain further submitted that since very few advocates are the members of the Trust, other advocates should also be requested to take the membership of the Trust so that the aforesaid benefits can be extended to them as well.
Moreover, Mr Jain submitted, while imposing costs in legal proceedings, 'Advocate Welfare Trust Committee be kept in consideration.
While informing that the court that Bar Council of Delhi has agreed to release the deposit of 20% of the enrolment fee, under Section 15 of Advocates Welfare Act towards the fund, Mr Jain submitted that the Trust Committee is going to convene a meeting in a month and their priorities will be adjusted looking to the availability of the funds and demands of the existing members and new members.
In addition to this, the Bar Council of Delhi informed the court that since the inception of the lockdown, it has paid ₹5,000 each to 16,448 advocates, which amounts to a total assistance of ₹8.22 crores. It was further submitted that the process of providing assistance is still on.
Mr KC Mittal, the Chairman of the BCD, further submitted that considering the limited means and unlimited wants, their funds are reducing day-by-day.
Senior Advocate Hariharan, who appeared for the Petitioners, submitted that they will give more suggestions to the aforesaid Trust Committee as well as to the Bar Council of Delhi and they shall keep in mind the same in the next meeting while deciding the priorities for the welfare of the advocates at large.
The court will next take up this matter on July 07.
Case Title: Vaibhav Sharma v. Advocates Welfare Trust
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