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CM Advocates' Welfare Scheme: High Court Seeks Response Of Centre, Delhi Govt In Plea Seeking Opening Of Portal For Registration Of Advocates

Nupur Thapliyal
22 Nov 2021 1:22 PM GMT
CM Advocates Welfare Scheme: High Court Seeks Response Of Centre, Delhi Govt In Plea Seeking Opening Of Portal For Registration Of Advocates
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The Delhi High Court has issued notice on a plea seeking opening up of portal for registration of advocates in connection with the CM Advocates' Welfare Scheme which was closed in April last year amid covid 19 pandemic.The plea also challenged the Single judge order for extension of benefits under CM Advocates' Welfare Scheme to all lawyers who are residing in the NCR region but...

The Delhi High Court has issued notice on a plea seeking opening up of portal for registration of advocates in connection with the CM Advocates' Welfare Scheme which was closed in April last year amid covid 19 pandemic.

The plea also challenged the Single judge order for extension of benefits under CM Advocates' Welfare Scheme to all lawyers who are residing in the NCR region but are practicing in Delhi.

Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh sought response of the Centre, Delhi Government, Life Insurance Corporation of India and New India Assurance Company Limited while posting the matter for further hearing on December 1.

According to the plea filed through Advocate KC Mittal, it has been averred that while passing the directions in the matter, the single judge had not issued any direction to the Respondents to open portal for registration.

"The respondent closed the portal on 19.04.2020 during lockdown as a result the Petitioners and many other advocates residing in Delhi could not register in the welfare scheme despite repeated request. Such an action in highly arbitrary unjustified and violative to Article 14 and a deliberate attempt to deny the benefit of the scheme to the Petitioners and other advocates, despite clear orders to open the registration window vide order dated 17.07.2020," the plea adds.

It has also been stated that the Respondents had not considered for opening the window for registration of such advocates who could not register themselves.

"Because in order dated 17th July, 2020, the Hon'ble Single Judge at the request of learned senior advocate appearing for the official Respondents passed an order that in so far as the advocates who could not register before the April deadline during the earlier lockdown period of COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of NCT of Delhi may consider opening a two weeks window permitting advocates from Delhi to register themselves but no such decision was taken nor communicated nor the portal was opened at any point of time," the plea states.

Earlier, the Court had granted a temporary stay on the impugned order. The Court will now hear the pending challenges on together on December 1.

Arvind Kejriwal led Delhi Government rolled out a scheme for welfare of advocates with an annual outlay of Rs.50 crores. The same was extended to practising advocates who are enrolled with the Bar Council of Delhi and are also in the voters' list of Delhi.

While allowing the pleas filed by the Bar Council of Delhi and Advocate-members of BCD residing in Noida, Gurugram, etc., Justice Prathiba Singh had observed:

"The condition in the Scheme that it would be applicable only to residents in Delhi with Voter IDs, is held to be discriminatory and arbitrary as the sub-classification from amongst the advocates enrolled with the Bar Council of Delhi, has no rational nexus with the object to be achieved."

The Judge had therefore ordered that benefits will be extended to the members of BCD, irrespective of whether they hold voter ID cards of Delhi or not.

Title: KAPIL GOYAL v. GOVERNMENT OF NCT OF DELHI & ORS.

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