The Calcutta High Court on Thursday issued notice on a plea to frame a scheme for granting financial assistance to lawyers who may require such assistance in view of the fact that work in the courts has come to a standstill.
As per the HCBA, the subscriptions taken by the Council from the lawyers registered with it should be utilised for the benefit of the distressed lawyers, who are unable to afford basic amenities like food, etc. in these times of crisis.
It may be noted that under the Advocates Act, 1961, the Bar Council of India as well as the State Bar Councils are obliged to ensure welfare of Advocates fraternity and also to assist the needy Advocates. Particularly, Section 6 of the Act provides to safeguard the rights, privileges and interests of Advocates and its roll.
The matter will be heard by a division bench presided by Chief Justice TBN Radhakrishnan on Thursday, April 16.
The Calcutta High Court had restricted its functioning to hear only urgent matters on March 15, in view of the pandemic. The same is likely to be continued in view of extension of the lockdown till May 3.
The condition of financially unstable lawyers has drawn attention of many courts in the country. Recently, the Allahabad High Court called upon the Bar Council of India, Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh, UP Law Ministry, Allahabad High Court Bar Association, Allahabad High Court Advocate's Association, and the Awadh Bar Association, to explain the steps taken by them to assist the needy Advocates and the registered Advocate Clerks.
Many State Bar Councils such as those in the states of Odisha, Karnataka, Delhi and Tamil Nadu have already announced financial support for Advocates in dire need.
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