A Circular issued by the Bar Council of Andhra Pradesh providing loans to Advocates in need amid the pandemic and consequent lockdown, has been challenged before the High Court as illegal and arbitrary.
Advocate Syed Ziauddin, practicing at the Andhra Pradesh High Court, has contended that the Council's decision to release the State sanctioned amount of Rs.25,00,00,000/- in the form of "loans" to the Advocates is irrational and violative of principles of natural justice.
On July 8, 2020, the Andhra Pradesh Government issued an order with respect to release of Rs.25,00,00,000/- towards Trust for Welfare of Lawyers. As per the order, the said amount was to be utilized for the welfare of the needy Advocates, as selected by the Committee under the Chairmanship of Advocate General, along with 4 Bar Council members selected by him in consultation with the Chairman, Bar Council of Andhra Pradesh.
The Petitioner has submitted that in complete derogation of this stipulation, the State Bar Council has decided to provide loans to the needy advocates, out of the abovementioned amount released by the Government, at chargeable interest.
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It is submitted that the Council is offering loans of (i) Rs.10,000/- chargeable interest of 5% and (ii) Rs.20,000/- chargeable with interest of 9%.
Aggrieved by this departure, the Petitioner has contended:
The plea therefore seeks suspension of the Circular issued by the Bar Council and constitution of a Welfare Trust for the purpose of Andhra Pradesh Advocates Welfare.
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