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Frame A Scheme For Allotment Of Houses In Public Quota For Lower-Income Young Advocates: Madras High Court Orders State

Sebin James
22 March 2022 4:01 AM GMT
Frame A Scheme For Allotment Of Houses In Public Quota For Lower-Income Young Advocates: Madras High Court Orders State
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Considering the predicament of lower-income young practising advocates, Madras High Court has tabled a proposition to frame a scheme for allotment of houses in public quota on a rental basis for them.Justice Krishnan Ramasamy has directed the Tamil Nadu Housing Board and State Government to frame the scheme in consultation with TN & Puducherry Bar Council by giving preference to...

Considering the predicament of lower-income young practising advocates, Madras High Court has tabled a proposition to frame a scheme for allotment of houses in public quota on a rental basis for them.

Justice Krishnan Ramasamy has directed the Tamil Nadu Housing Board and State Government to frame the scheme in consultation with TN & Puducherry Bar Council by giving preference to the practising young advocates until the prescribed age, in reserving a certain percentage of residential accomodations in public quota. An alternative would be taking the financial status of the concerned advocate into account and giving them residential accommodation for a limited number of years on a rental basis, the court opined.

"...Though the lawyers are viewed in society as highly competent and capable, but low in warmth and trustworthiness. Nowadays, many of the young Advocates, though they have mastered their degree in law, are facing many difficulties in society since they are in the irregular income group in their initial stage of practice, facing difficulties to meet out their financial needs and to make out their livelihood...", the court noted before giving directions.

Banks and Landlords alike are indifferent to the requests of the advocates when it comes to loans and renting property respectively, the court further opined.

On the question of whether advocates can be allotted residential accommodation under the public quota, the court relied on the Madras HC judgment in T. Sornapandian & Others v. The Principal Secretary to Government, Housing & Urban Development (HB(2) HB5(2)) Department, Chennai & Others (2019).

Relying on the said judgment, the court remarked that there is no hard and fast rule about to whom the residential accommodation should be allotted under 'public quota'.

"In such circumstances, it has to be construed that a person who renders service to the public, is certainly entitled to the residential accommodation under public quota", the single bench further added.

Noting that an advocate is an officer of the court, Justice Krishnan Ramsamy also mentioned that the services rendered by young practising advocates in assisting the court, serving the litigant public and dispensing justice are instrumental. 

"The Advocate's duty is as important as that of a Judge and they play a vital role in the preservation of the justice system and since the duty of a lawyer is to assist the Court in the administration of justice, the practice of law has a public utility flavor", the court added.

The court issued the said direction while hearing a writ petition filed by a former President of District Consumer Redressal Forum who has also completed 35 years of practice as an advocate. The court lamented about the petitioner not being able to own a house even at the age of sixty despite his service and applying for allotment of residential accommodation under public quota which was initially rejected.

Taking note of the same, the court has also directed the respondents to consider the petitioner's representation on merits and take a decision within eight weeks.

"Though 'public quota' is shown as a distinct quota, it essentially forms part of the Government quota, as 20% of the accommodation made available by the Government is carved out to be allotted under the 'public quota'. The claim of the petitioner has to be considered under public quota...", the court added by mentioning the post held by the petitioner and the service he rendered as a practising advocate.

Therefore, the court opined that the petitioner is entitled to seek residential accommodation on a rental basis in public quota.

Previously, the respondents had argued that the petitioner is well off without any allotment under public quota since he is a practising advocate for many years and his wife had also retired from service in 2017 as a nurse.

Case Title: P.Subburaj v. The Principal Secretary, Housing & Urban Development Department & Anr.

Case No: W.P.No.27614 of 2017

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 111

Click Here To Read/ Download Order


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