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A Bangalore-based association of clerks working for various advocates and law firms in the State of Karnataka has 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 has been moved by the Karnataka State Level Advocates Clerks Association through Advocate Murthy Dayanand Naik calling for such a welfare fund to be rolled out for their monthly subsistence while the lockdown continues.
The petitioners point out that most of the clerks depend on day to day court work for their livelihood. However, since the nationwide lockdown has entered its third phase and court work continues to be scant, most of the clerks are without any income.
The petitioners, therefore, seeks the formation of a corpus of Rs 5 crores to "ensure the subsistence of the members" of the clerk association. In this regard, the petition also cites legal precedents of the Supreme Court to substantiate how the right to livelihood is under the umbrage of right to life as enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution.
The plea notes that while several representations have been made by the members of the association to the government to "protect them", none of these has been acted upon.
This has now prompted the petitioners to approach the Court urging that directions be issued so that a payment of Rs 20,000 is disbursed per month by the State Ba Council for each registered member, on the submission of the requisite identity card.
The petitioner association has also prayed for directions so that the State Government formulate a scheme for the welfare of such clerks working for law firms and lawyers.
As an interim relief, the petition states that the State Government should be directed to pay Rs 10,000 per association member, which may be disbursed by the State Bar Council.