Karnataka High Court
Karnataka High Court
Litigation News

Karnataka HC seeks State government's response in plea seeking financial assistance to Advocates Clerks amid COVID-19 Lockdown

Rintu Mariam Biju

The Karnataka High Court recently asked the state government to consider in what manner it could help needy members of the Karnataka State Level Advocates Clerks Association who were adversely affected owing to closure of Courts amid the COVID-19 Lockdown. (Karnataka High Court - Advocates clerks order May 29)

"The State Government will have to take a call and state before the Court what help the State Government can render to the needy members of the petitioner (Clerk Association)."
Karnataka High Court

Previously, the Court had asked the association to implead the Advocates Association of Bengaluru and the Karnataka State Bar Council in the matter. The Court had further urged these bodies to evolve a scheme for the benefit of the registered advocates' clerks.

On Friday, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum was informed that the Karnataka State Bar Council and the Advocates’ Association of Bengaluru had convened a joint meeting on May 26 to discuss the issue.

However, nothing concrete was placed on record by both the entities to show that any fund had been created through the senior members of the Bar to help the clerks who are in distress.

Nonetheless, the Court expressed hope that senior members of the Bar would pitch in to held, if a request is made by the two bodies.

"We are sure that if the Karnataka State Bar Council and Advocates’ Association Bengaluru make a request to the senior members of the Bar by inviting their attention to the plight of some of the advocates’ clerks, contributions will come from senior advocates. The only question is of making an effort in the right direction."

Karnataka High Court

The Court was further intimated that the Government of Telangana had recently released funds to help the junior members of the Bar, as well advocates’ clerks, who were in financial distress.

The High Court also clarified that while handing over the funds to the petitioner-Association, the members of the Bar can always impose conditions about the manner in which it should be used, to ensure that the aid reaches the clerks who are really in distress.

The matter will be next heard on June 2.

Last week, the Karnataka High Court had urged the State Bar Council, the Advocates’ Association, Bengaluru and senior members of the Bar to come together to provide financial help to clerks during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The order was passed after a Bangalore-based association of clerks working for various advocates and law firms in the State of Karnataka had approached the Karnataka High Court urging it to direct the State Government to form a Rs 5 crores fund for their welfare amid the COVID-19 lockdown.

The petition by the Karnataka State Level Advocates Clerks Association was moved through Advocate Murthy Dayanand Naik.

Read order here:

Kar HC - Advocates clerks order May 29.pdf
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