17 Feb 2022 1:45 PM GMT
In a major setback for the legal fraternity in Kerala, the Additional Chief Secretary to Government has recently addressed a letter to the Chairman of Bar Council of Kerala with a proposal to amend the Rules regarding fees payable to Advocates in the State. Appendix VII of the Kerala Civil Rules of Practice, 1971 promulgated by the High Court provides for several rules, regarding...
In a major setback for the legal fraternity in Kerala, the Additional Chief Secretary to Government has recently addressed a letter to the Chairman of Bar Council of Kerala with a proposal to amend the Rules regarding fees payable to Advocates in the State.
Appendix VII of the Kerala Civil Rules of Practice, 1971 promulgated by the High Court provides for several rules, regarding fees payable to advocates.
As per the contents of the letter, the Registrar General of the High Court had penned a letter to the State government in 2019 furnishing a proposal to amend the said Rules to limit the fees advocates can collect from their clients.
The State has asked the State Bar Council to furnish its considered views after discussing with the District Bar Association or representatives concerned at the earliest.
Consequently, members of the State Bar Council and the Kerala High Court Advocates Association had declared an All Kerala Protest Day today to mark their protest against the proposed amendments by wearing protest badges while appearing before the court.
(i) The existing clause (iv) of sub rule 2 shall be deleted and in its place the following clause shall be substituted, namely:
'If the amount or value exceeds Rs.50,000/- but does not exceed Rs. 5,00,000 on Rs. 50,000/- as above and on the reminder at 3%'
(ii) In sub rule 2 after clause (iv) a new clause shall be inserted, namely-
'If the amount or value exceeds Rs. 5,00,000/- on Rs. 5,00,000/- as above and on the remainder at 1% subject to a maximum of Rs. 5,00,000/-'
'The fees applicable to claims for compensation under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (Act 59 of 1988) shall be calculated as under sub rule (2) of Rule 6 and Rule 7.'
1) Rule 6 of Appendix VII deals with scale of fees in Subordinate Courts while Rule 6 (2) specifically deals with scale of fees in Original Suits. Presently, Rule 6(2)(iv) reads as follows:
"If the amount or value exceeds Rs. 50,000/- on Rs. 50,000/- as above and on the remainder at 5%" [which means upto Rs. 50,000/- advocate can charge @ 8% and on the remainder at 5%]
Therefore, as per the existing clause (iv), an advocate can charge 5% on the value of the subject matter beyond Rs. 50,000/-. Now, the proposal is to limit this to 3%.
2) An additional clause (v) is set to be inserted to limit the above right by stipulating that if the value of the subject matter exceeds Rs. 5,00,000/-, then the advocate is entitled to charge only 1% on the amount exceeding Rs. 5,00,000/- subject to a maximum chargeable fees of Rs. 5,00,000/-.
3) Rule 7 of Appendix VII deals with the scale of fees in appeals. As per the existing rule, only a minimum of Rs. 2,000/- is fixed and no maximum chargeable fee is fixed. The amendment proposed fixes the maximum chargeable fee for appeals at Rs. 50,000/-.
4) The additional sub rule (11) in Rule 14 will include the fees chargeable in Motor Accident Claims also to be brought within the ambit of the amended Rules 6(2) and 7 as above.