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COVID-19: Supreme Court Bar Clerks Association moves Supreme Court seeking directions for 'maintenance compensation' from Government

The plea has argued that the “health of people cannot be protected by causing uncompensated miseries to individuals particularly the low-income people like the Advocates' clerks”.

Debayan Roy

Members of the Supreme Court Bar Clerks Association have moved the Supreme Court urging that the Government be directed to provide them a monthly “maintenance compensation” of Rs 15,000 as the majority have been left unemployed ever since lockdown was put in place to contain the COVID-19 pandemic (Supreme Bar Clerks Association v. UOI and ors).

The petition filed through Advocate Deepak Prakash states that clerks who normally earn from Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 by way of salary and tips given by the litigants are now on the “verge of penury.”

"They have been facing financial hardship for the last three months. Some members have not even got their basic salary. The petitioner association therefore seeks urgent and kind indulgence of this Hon’ble Court for directions including direction to the Union of India to pay ₹ 15000 per month to each member of petitioner Association."

reads the plea.

The petitioner association has stated that the Centre “owes a duty of care both in protecting the health of people at large and as well as livelihood of every individual or citizen including the Advocates' clerks represented by the petitioner association.”

The plea has argued that the “health of people cannot be protected by causing uncompensated miseries to individuals particularly the low income people like the Advocates' clerks”.

The members of petitioner association point out that they hail from far off places in Assam or Kerala and that it was necessary to formulate a scheme for their sustenance and “basic survival to implement the constitutional guarantees under Article 21 of our Constitution.

The petition has been settled by Senior Advocate Mohan V Katarki and drawn by Advocates Gaurav Agarwal and Divyangna Malik.

[READ PETITION]

SCBCA Plea.pdf
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