The Karnataka High Court on Friday urged the State Bar Council to ensure that advocate's clerks across the state get financial assistance and help is not only extended to registered clerks working in Bengaluru.
A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Nataraj Rangaswamy while hearing a petition filed by Karnataka State Level Advocates Clerks Association observed :
"We are sure even at district and taluk places there will be clerks who will require assistance. It is upto State Bar Council to take up the issue with the local Bar Association's, to ensure that clerks across the state get assistance."
The observation was made after the counsel for the state Bar Council informed that after having discussions with bar associations it is found that there are no advocate clerks in other districts. Advocate Murthy D Naik appearing for the petitioners though countered the claim by saying that in Bengaluru there are 478 Clerks at Dharwad 38 at Kalaburagi 28, Bengaluru Rural 6, Kolar 4, Chitradurga 3, Mandya 1 and Tiptur 1.
Additional Advocate General Dhyan Chinnappa also disagreed with the statement made by the counsel for the State Bar Council, he said "It can't be correct or else lawyers will not be able to work."
Chief Justice Oka also said "When I was practising,clerks were an institution." He added that in Kalaburagi district ration kits have been distributed to lawyers, imagine what would be the condition of clerks."
During the hearing the counsel for Advocates Association of Bengaluru informed the court that it has collected a total of Rs 13,44,000 and already issued application forms to the registered clerks in Bengaluru. Asking them to fill the application form by June 24. The forms will then be scrutinized by the committee headed by senior advocate DLN Rao and requisite amounts will be released to the clerks in distress.
The association by way of interim relief sought direction to the state government to release a sum of Rs 10,000, for each member during the period of closure of court till commencement of normal functioning of courts. Only after being pulled up by the court the Advocates Association constituted the committee and reached out to its members seeking funds for the clerks. The court has now posted the matter for further hearing on June 30.