Delhi High Court
Delhi High Court
Litigation News

Consider opening registration window for Delhi lawyers who could not register for CM Advocates' Welfare Scheme in April: Delhi HC to Govt

The Court was informed that several insurance companies have submitted their bids and that the process of evaluation was on-going.

Aditi Singh

The Delhi High Court today asked the Delhi government to take a "compassionate view" and consider opening a two-week registration window for the benefit of those lawyers who could not register for the Chief Minister's Advocates' Welfare Scheme in April due to the COVID-19 lockdown (Bar Council of Delhi v. GNCT of Delhi).

The order was passed by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh while hearing the petition filed by Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) concerning the implementation of the CM Advocates' Welfare Scheme.

Senior Advocate Kailash Vasdev and BCD Chairman KC Mittal appeared for Bar Council of Delhi.

The Court was also hearing petitions with respect to the status of advocates who are registered with the Bar Council of Delhi but reside in areas outside the national capital such as Noida, Gurugram, Faridabad and Ghaziabad.

These petitions were preferred by Advocates Balvinder Singh Bagga, Vaibhav Kalra, Manish Saroha, Vivek Jain, Shivam Chanana (Balvinder Singh Bagga & Ors vs State of Delhi & Ors) and Advocate Govind Swaroop Chaturvedi (Govind Swaroop Chaturvedi vs State of Delhi & Ors).

On the last date of hearing, the Court had directed the Delhi government to invite tenders for granting insurance policies to 29,098 Delhi lawyers who had been duly verified for the CM Advocates' Welfare Scheme.

Additional Standing Counsel for the Delhi government, Advocate Satyakam today informed the Court that in compliance with the direction, a tender notice was published after due consultation with the BCD.

The Court was informed that several insurance companies, such as Life Corporation of India, New India Insurance etc, have submitted their bids and that the process of evaluation was on-going.

In view of the development, the Court stated that although the issue of application of the Welfare Scheme to NCR lawyers and left-out Delhi lawyers was still a matter of adjudication, there was no need to delay the process for those had already registered.

The Court recorded that the financial bids should be opened prior to August 7 and then evaluated. It added that the contract should then be executed under the aegis of the Technical Evaluation Committee.

The Court clarified that after the contract is in place, the insurance policies should be rolled out in favour of the advocates, the premium for which should be paid by the Delhi government.

As far as the issue of NCR advocates was concerned, Senior Advocate Rajiv Nayar, appearing for the Delhi Government, said he intended to hold a meeting with the officials for taking instructions and resolving the issue.

The Court said that in case the issue remained unresolved, the matter would be adjudicated by the Court.

The matter will be heard next on August 28.

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