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The order was passed in the petition filed by Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) concerning the implementation of the CM Advocates' Welfare Scheme.
Taking note of the increase in the premium proposed by the insurance companies under the Chief Minister’s Advocates Welfare Scheme, the Delhi High Court has directed that a meeting of the stakeholders be held to arrive at a solution. (Bar Council of Delhi vs GNCTD)
The order was passed by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh in the petition filed by Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) concerning the implementation of the CM Advocates' Welfare Scheme.
On the last date of hearing, the Court had directed the 'Technical Evaluation Committee' under the Delhi government to open the financial bids and to hold negotiations with insurance companies for the purposes of issuing group medi-claim and life insurance policies for Delhi advocates under the CM Advocates' Welfare Scheme.
Pursuant to the order, the Delhi Government submitted its status report to the Court, which showed that the insurance companies had substantially increased the amount of premium and reneged on their earlier quotations given in November/December, 2019.
As recorded on the order, for group medi-claim insurance, New India Assurance Company had earlier proposed 'Premium rate per policy' as Rs 8500. The same was now quoted as Rs 22945.10.
Similarly, the Life Insurance Corporation of India had initially quoted Rs 10,07,70,894 as the total amount of premium for providing group (term) life-insurance. However, the financial bid was of Rs 20,40,59,453.
Opining that such steep increase in the premium would defeat the purpose of the Scheme, the Court ordered that the Techincal Evaluation Committee and representatives of the Bar Council of Delhi hold a meeting with the senior officials of the New India Insurance and Life Insurance Corporation of India to arrive at a solution.
The Court further directed that senior officials from the insurance companies, who are capable of taking a decision regarding the rates quoted, join the court proceedings on the next date.
Speaking to Bar & Bench on the issue, KC Mittal, Chairman of Bar Council of Delhi said,
"Insurance companies cannot indulge in profiteering in these Corona times by asking 3 times their earlier rates. These companies have social obligations and duty to the public at large. For advocates' welfare, Delhi Government has proposed to give free life insurance & health insurance.. The raise by the government insurance companies for Delhi Government's welfare scheme is totally unjustified and is unfair profiteering."
Earlier this year, the Delhi Government had approved the Chief Minister’s Advocates Welfare Scheme which proposed rolling out Group (Term) Insurance, Group Medi-Claim, e-library and creche for advocates in Delhi. The corpus was of the Scheme was set at Rs 50 crore.
BCD was represented by Senior Advocate Kailash Vasdev with Chairman, KC Mittal. Delhi Government was represented by Senior Advocate Rajiv Nayar and Additional Standing Counsel Stayakam. Advocate Kamal Mehta appeared for LIC.
The matter would be heard next on September 15.
Read the Order: