The Delhi High Court was informed by the Bar Council of Delhi about the financial assistance of ?5,000/- each to deal with the crisis situation caused by the COVID19 pandemic granted to 16,448 advocates to talling to ?8.22 crores.
In a PIL seeking a direction to be issued to the Advocate Welfare Fund Trust, the information was given to the Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan to provide ex gratia payments to advocates suffering from financial crisis in the wake of COVID19.
While highlighting its status report Bar Council of Delhi submitted that the process of providing financial assistance is still on and a meeting by the Indigent Committee of the Council to consider the applications of advocates suffering from COVID19 shall take place so that financial assistance can be released to their respective families for medical and other facilities.
From general funds of the Council and after encashing the Fixed Deposits the money has been disbursed to needy advocates.
It was also submitted that the Delhi Government did not provide money for medical and term insurance of the advocates for the year 2019-20, for which budgetary allocation has already been made. If the advocates would have been provided insurance policies, it would have brought considerable relief to mitigate the present crisis, Bar Council of Delhi quoted.
‘There are still more than 62,000 advocates who are being deprived of the benefit of Insurance policies for which the Council has decided to avail appropriate remedy.’
The donations can also be released from advocates who can afford such contributions said the Counsel:
‘It may be appropriate to collect donations from various advocates who can afford. In order to avoid overlapping and misuse of money, the same maybe uniformly applied to extend financial and medical support in genuine and appropriate cases.’
The Chairman of the Bar Council of Delhi, Mr KC Mittal submitted the status report.