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The 13-member Advocates Committee set up under the convenership of the then Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President, Rakesh Kr Khanna has proposed rolling out Group (Term) Insurance, Group Medi-Claim, e-library and creche for advocates in Delhi towards the utilization of the Chief Minister’s Advocates Welfare Scheme.
In November, Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal had announced that a 13-member committee of lawyers would be set up to make recommendations on the utilization of the Rs. 50 crore earmarked for the Advocates Welfare Fund by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government.
The Report on the schemes proposed for the welfare of advocate reads as follows:
“The committee, after holding in-depth deliberations and considering the matter at great length, proposes the following schemes for the welfare of advocates:
1. Group (Term) Insurance for practising advocates providing life cover of Rs. 10,00,000/- (Rupees Ten Lakhs) per advocate.
2. Group Medi-claim coverage for the advocates, their spouse and two dependent children unto the age of 25 years, for a family floater sum insured of Rs. 5,00,000/- (Rupees Five Lakhs).
3. E-library with 10 computers loaded with e-journals and web editions of e-journals, along with printers in all the 6 district courts.
4. Creche facility for advocates and staff employees in each of the 6 district courts.”
As per the report, based on the verification undertaken by the Bar Council of Delhi, 40,115 advocates are eligible for the above benefits under the scheme.
The Report proposes a Life Term Insurance of Rs. 10,00,000 for every practising advocate from Life Insurance Corporation, (LIC).
“Since the number of advocates likely to be covered under the scheme as per the data made available by the Bar Council of Delhi is approximately 40,115, the premium amount at the aforesaid rate works out to be Rs.10,07,70,894/- (Ten Crores Seven lakhs Seventy Thousand Eight Hundred and Ninety Four). The committee is prima facie of the view that the rate offered by the LIC seems to be quite competitive and can be accepted by the government.”
The report further proposes a Rs 5 lacs medi-claim floater policy for lawyers, their spouse and 2 children from New India Assurance Company.
“The Committee on 04.12.2019 received the quotation from the National Insurance Company Limited for the family floater sum insured of Rs. 5,00,000/- (Rupees Five Lakhs). The premium demanded was Rs. 27,000/- (Rupees Twenty-Seven Thousand) for the advocate plus spouse plus 2 dependent children (upto 25 years) and Rs. 22,000/- (Rupees Twenty-Two Thousand) for the advocate plus their spouse.”
Since E-library facilities were deficient in the District Court Bar Associations, the Report has recommended that all 6 district courts bar associations be provided with e-library facilities. As per the proposal, this facility will be free of cost for advocates and include 10 computers fully loaded with all e-journals, Acts, rules and notifications etc.
As a relief to the female employees in Court, the Committee proposes to provide a crèche facility in all the Bar Associations, in lines with the creche facility being provided at the Supreme Court of India.
In this regard, the report reads,
“Some of the members have informed the Committee that the Life Insurance Corporation of India, in discharge of its Corporate Social Responsibility undertakes running of creches free of cost. Delhi government can request the Life Insurance Corporation of India to provide this facility in all the 6 district courts and run the same in collaboration with the LIC.”
In any case, if LIC is unable to provide for Creche facility, the same should be undertaken by the Government of NCT of Delhi at its own cost, the Committee asserts.
The announcement for the budgetary allocation was made by the Chief Minister in February this year at an event organized at Delhi’s Tis Hazari Court Complex. Kejriwal had then declared that the grant of Rs 50 crore towards an Advocates Welfare Scheme would not be a ‘one-time’ grant, but would be recurring in nature.
The grant comes after the initial funding of Rs 1 crore was granted by the Delhi Government in 2001 at the time of enactment of Advocates’ Welfare Fund Act, 2001. In November last year, the Bar Council of Delhi had written to the CM seeking an annual grant of Rs. 10 crores towards advocates’ welfare scheme.
Apart from Khanna, the 13-member Committee comprised BCD Chairman KC Mittal, Delhi Government Standing Counsels Rahul Mehra and Ramesh Singh and DHCBA President Mohit Mathur.
Vice President Dwarka Bar Association Rajesh Kaushik, President New Delhi Bar Association RK Wadhwa, President Delhi Bar Association NC Gupta, Additional Secretary Saket Bar Association Hemant Mehta, President Shahadra Bar Association Pramod Nagar, Hony Secretary Rohini Bar Association Rakesh Chahar and Advocates Kamal Mehta, Amitabh Chaturvedi were also part of the Committee.
[Read the Committee report here]