The Rajasthan High Court has held that grant of funds/ financial assistance to a certain class of persons is a "matter of policy" that does not warrant judicial interference.
These remarks have been made by a division bench of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Satish Kumar Sharma while disposing of a plea for providing financial assistance to the needy young advocates during the lockdown period.
The Petitioners had urged the court to direct the State Government as well as the Bar Council of India to provide sufficient funds to meet the requirements of needy and young advocates who are suffering due to loss of work.
They also apprised the Court that the Bar Council of India had recently issued a grant of Rs. 1 crore to the Bar Council of Rajasthan for the purpose, but this amount was insufficient.
Refusing to interfere in the matter, the High Court held that "to provide compensation or any financial assistance to any particular segment of the Society is a matter of policy which is to be considered by the State Government after taking into account all relevant aspects subject to resources available with them, so also by the Bar Council of Rajasthan as well as by the Bar Council of India."
It thus held that the above, being a policy matter, does not warrant the court's indulgence.
The bench however went on to observe that the Bar Council of Rajasthan may first consider at its own to provide necessary financial assistance to its members. It may also request the Bar Council of India to release additional funds for the purpose.
The court also granted the liberty to the Council to approach the State Government for early consideration of their request to provide financial assistance to the lawyers.
On a related note, the Bar Council of India Rules obligates both the BCI as well as the State Bar Council to take care of welfare of their members and provide financial assistance during natural calamity, etc.
Case Title: Dr Mahesh Sharma & Anr. V. Govt of India & Ors.
Case No.: WP No. 5416/2020
Quorum: Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Satish Kumar Sharma
Appearance: Petitioner in person
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