The Kerala High Court on Monday stressed on the need to ensure that competent lawyers belonging to disadvantaged classes are not forced to quit the profession due to financial hardship [Adv. Priyanka Sharma MR v. State of Kerala]..Justice Devan Ramachandran opined that advocates from all backgrounds are necessary for any society to function well."This court has been emphasising that we need competent advocates from every section of society and this is the imperative requirement of effective social engineering. If an advocate is unable to pursue the profession solely on account of fiscal constraints, it will be a very sad day. This court is aware that many of them are still struggling and hence the support under the scheme is now unavoidable and inviolable," the Court said in its order..The scheme in question is the Advocates Grant, launched under the aegis of the Backward Classes Development Department. As per the scheme, an amount of ₹12,000 per year is given to eligible candidates for a period of three consecutive years.The Court today took objection to the the Department's submission that a delay in disbursing money to advocates was due to a lack of funds."I'm afraid that mere lack of funds cannot be a ground to delay benefits to eligible advocates indefinitely particularly when the beneficiaries fall into the most disadvantaged classes of citizens," the Court said. However, the Court agreed to grant the department a period of three months starting from December 8, 2023 to take up the matter with the State government and ensure that it issues appropriate notifications under the scheme. .The order was issued on a petition moved by an advocate last year arguing that though a notification under the scheme had been published by the government in 2021, no aid was issued for the years 2022 or 2023. She contended that this has led to her and other eligible candidates being denied valuable and necessary benefits under the scheme. The Court had earlier passed a judgment on November 1, 2023 in which it directed the authorities to issue necessary notifications under the scheme for the years 2021-2022 and 2022-2023, within a period of one month.However, the Department moved an application seeking an extension of the time by a further period of 6 months. The Court termed the filing of this application unfortunate. However, since the reason cited was a lack of funds, the Court granted the Department three months' time to comply with the directions of its earlier judgment. .The petitioner was represented by Advocates Ajman A, Dhanush CA and Rinshad TP. The Backward Classes Development Department was represented by government pleader Sunil K Kuriakose.