A petition has been filed before the Delhi High Court seeking a direction upon the Delhi Government to provide financial assistance to such Advocates who are enrolled with the Bar Council of Delhi, without any discrimination on the ground of their residential address.
The plea also seeks interest free moratorium on loans/ EMIs for such Advocates who are hit by a financial crisis amid the lockdown.
The petition has been filed by Advocate Sunil Kumar Tiwari, concerned by the plight of Advocates hailing from lower/ middle class families, who are unable to survive or feed their families due to loss of Court work amid the Covid induced lockdown.
The Petitioner, represented by Advocate Mukesh Kumar Singh, has submitted that during lockdowns, most Advocates have suffered acute financial crisis and the one time financial help of Rs. 5000/- for indigent advocates offered by the Bar Council of Delhi is insufficient for their survival.
It is submitted,
"the word 'life' as employed by Article 21 takes in its sweep not only the concept of mere physical existence but also all finer values of life including the right to work and right to livelihood. This right is a fundamental right guaranteed to all persons residing in India, citizens and non-citizens alike, right to life including right to livelihood and work as guaranteed by Article 21 is not reduced to a mere paper platitude but is kept alive, vibrant and pulsating so that the country can effectively march towards the a vowed goal of establishment of an egalitarian society."
Further, the Petitioner has urged that when all the means of livelihood has been curtailed by the Government, the Advocates should be exempted from paying their existing EMIs on their various Loans/ Credits Card Payments etc. till the situation becomes normal.
He has therefore prayed that a direction be made upon the Respondents to extend the moratorium period for repayment of term Loan/ Credit Cards for another 12 months or until the situation becomes normal.
Further, he insists that imposition of interest during the moratorium period defeats the very purpose of permitting moratorium on loans, Credit Cards Payments and etc. Therefore, he has urged the Court to waive the interest completely or charge at savings bank rate of interest for advocates during the moratorium period.
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