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While hearing a plea seeking financial help to Advocate clerks amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Karnataka State Bar Association (KSBA) today informed the Karnataka High Court that except in Bangalore, there are no registered advocates clerks in other districts.
Expressing its shock on the submission, a Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka stated,
"There may not be an association, but there will a class working in other districts also... This statement is really surprising. Bar Council is saying that there no clerks in other districts. The clerks are an institution, they are as important in the chamber as a senior... We don't think that statement (KSBC's statement) is correct."
Countering this, the Petitioner's Advocate Murthy Naik informed that apart from the 470 clerks in Bangalore, there are 38 clerks in Dharwad and 28 clerks in Kalburgi.
The Bench observed,
"In Kalburgi, ration kits were distributed recently, to some lawyers. So what will be the condition of the clerks if this is the condition of the lawyers?"
At this point, Naik pointed out that this writ petition has been filed for ensuring that benefit reaches all advocates clerks and not just for the ones in Bengaluru.
Advocate Anil Kumar appearing for Advocates Association, Bangalore (AAB) informed that Rs 13,44,000 had been collected by the committee headed by DLN Rao by way of donations for Advocates clerks in Bangalore.
It was further submitted that AAB was inviting applications of eligible applicants and that the last date for its submission is June 24.
The matter will be next heard on June 30.
Recently, the AAB had informed the Karnataka High Court that an amount of Rs 8,98,000 was collected by way of donations for rendering financial aid to Advocates' Clerks in need in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.