Karnataka State Bar Council
Karnataka State Bar Council
Litigation News

Formulate fair and transparent scheme for distribution of Rs 5 crore to needy advocates: Karnataka HC to State Bar Council

The Court directed the KSBC to formulate a fair and transparent scheme for the distribution of the said amount to needy advocates.

Rintu Mariam Biju

The Karnataka High Court last week directed the state government to ensure that an amount of Rs 5 crore is immediately transferred to the Karnataka State Bar Council (KSBC), for the benefit of needy advocates amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

A direction to this effect was passed after the KSBC informed the Court that it had not yet received the said amount from the state government.

The order passed by Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S Kinagi reads,

"At this stage, learned counsel appearing for Karnataka State Bar Council states that amount of Rupees 5 crores is not yet transferred to the Bar Council. State Government shall ensure that the amount in immediately transferred."

Karnataka High Court

Further, the Court directed the KSBC to formulate a fair and transparent scheme for the distribution of the said amount to needy advocates.

"As the state government is using public money to assist the members of the Bar, the KSBC will have to come up with a fair and transparent scheme for distributing the amount to the needy advocates."

The scheme formulated by the KSBC shall be placed on record on the next date of hearing , the Bench directed.

The Court also directed the Dharwad Bar Association to make a statement on record regarding the amount it had collected so far for the benefit of advocate clerks.

In its order, the Court also went on to urge the Bar Association at Kalburgi to follow the example of the Advocates Association, Bengaluru (AAB) in helping out needy advocate clerks.

During the course of the hearing, counsel for AAB reminded the Bench that during the last hearing, it had asked the KSBC to throw some light on the basis on which the amount of Rs 5 crore would be distributed to advocates.

In response, counsel for KSBC submitted that no scheme has been formulated, as it has not yet received the said amount from the state government.

"Milords, let them make a scheme first, so that we can also contribute to the scheme if there are any lapses. On the last date, the government had already produced the order copy (releasing 5 crores)", urged AAB counsel.

Appreciating this submission, the Bench said,

"You must place the scheme on record saying how you are going to distribute it. It is public money which is being given to you. Therefore, it must be a clear and transparent process."

The Court passed the aforesaid directions in a petition moved by the Karnataka State Level Advocates Clerks Association through Advocate Murthy Dayanand Naik seeking financial aid for needy Advocates' Clerks in the State.

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