Crowded corridors of Supreme Court
Crowded corridors of Supreme Court
Litigation News

How can the Union of India pay compensation to Bar clerks? SC refuses to entertain plea for compensation by SC Bar Clerks' Association

Debayan Roy

The Supreme Court today refused to entertain a plea filed by the Supreme Court Bar Clerks' Association seeking direction to the government to pay compensation in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, lockdown, and loss of income.

The matter was heard by a Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MR Shah which sought to ask the petitioning organization how the Central government be directed to pay maintenance compensation to Bar Clerks.

"How can Union of India pay this?"

Justice Ashok Bhushan

"Everyone will start coming to Courts then"

Justice MR Shah

Senior Counsel Siddharth Luthra representing the Association sought to argue that such compensation payment schemes are a mandate under the Disaster Management Act, which has been invoked as of now. However, in light of the Court's disinclination to entertain the plea, Luthra sought permission to withdraw it and approach the Bar Council of India (BCI) instead.

"How will Bar Council help with clerks," the Bench asked Luthra. The Court asked the petitioners to withdraw the petition lest it be dismissed and declined to hear the matter.

The Bench was hearing a plea by the members of the Supreme Court Bar Clerks Association, who sought a direction to the government to provide them a monthly “maintenance compensation” of Rs 15,000 owing to financial difficulties arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The plea claimed that a majority of clerks have been left unemployed ever since the lockdown was put in place to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

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