"When you appear as Amicus Curiae, don't ask for your fee. Do it as a service to the institution", Justice D. Y. Chandrachud told a lawyer on Monday.
The bench of Justices Chandrachud and M. R. Shah were considering a writ petition under Article 32 by the petitioner-advocate for recovery of his dues of Rs.10,000 and 14,000 respectively from the states of Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand in respect of his appearances as Amicus. In addition, he also sought Rs.5 lakh each by way of compensation.
"Article 32 cannot be used for recovery of lawyers' fee!", remarked Justice Chandrachud at the outset.
"There is no other effective remedy!", urged the counsel.
"Besides, you are asking for compensation of Rs.5 lakh rupees?! Why?", exclaimed Justice Shah.
"My fee has been delayed for five years now! I have repeatedly corresponded with the state governments but there has been no response to my emails… ", urged the advocate.
"But you cannot come under Article 32. Take recourse to an appropriate remedy in accordance with the law", repeated bench, dismissing the plea.
The bench also noted that "for some inexplicable reason", the petitioner has also sought compensation which prayer is also "equally misconceived".
"There is only a provision for recovery of the fee as arrears of land revenue, but it is not an effective remedy. It turns out to be very expensive… ", pressed the counsel.
"I will give you the best remedy. When you appear as Amicus Curiae, don't ask for your fee. Do it as a service to the institution. That is how we conducted our profession when we used to appear before the court", remarked Justice Chandrachud