Plea moved before Delhi HC to extend CM Advocates’ Welfare Scheme to all Delhi advocates, irrespective of their names in Delhi voter list
Litigation News

Plea moved before Delhi HC to extend CM Advocates’ Welfare Scheme to all Delhi advocates, irrespective of their names in Delhi voter list

The petition has been preferred by five advocates who are registered with the Bar Council of Delhi but reside in areas neighbouring the national capital.

Aditi Singh

A petition has been moved before the Delhi High Court to extend the benefit of the Chief Minister Advocates’ Welfare Scheme to all the advocates enrolled with Bar Council of Delhi, irrespective of whether their names feature in Delhi's voter list.

The petition has been preferred by five advocates, namely, Advocates Balvinder Singh Bagga, Manish Saroha, Vivek Jain, Shivam Chanana and Vaibhav Kalra. The Petitioners are registered with the Bar Council of Delhi but reside in areas neighbouring the national capital.

Counsel for the Petitioners, Advocate Naginder Benipal mentioned the matter telephonically before the Registrar (listing) today.

The matter would be taken up by the High Court once it returns to its normal schedule, the Counsel was told.

The Petition informs that the 13- Advocates Committee on the utilization of the Welfare Fund had recommended that the beneficiaries under the Scheme would include members of Bar Council of Delhi and those who are on the electoral roll of any of the Bar Associations in Delhi as on December 1, 2019.

It is the Petitioners' grievance that in spite of the recommendation, the Delhi Government restricted the Scheme to only those members of Bar Council of Delhi who are in the Voters’ List of Delhi.

The Petition states,

"..the present petition is, in essence, a prayer for intervention to this Hon’ble Court so that equal treatment is meted out to Advocates who’s name do not figure in the Voter list of Delhi and their brethren who’s name appears in the Voter List of Delhi, as both are registered with the Bar Council of Delhi and have put in the same efforts for a number of years in upholding the dignity of the profession."

Filed through Advocate Benipal, the Petition argues that the restriction of the benefit of the Scheme to only those members of the Bar Council of Delhi who are in the Voters’ List of Delhi is unreasonable, arbitrary, unfair, unjust, illegal and unconstitutional.

Asserting that the restriction is politically motivated, the Petition submits,

The purpose of the scheme was to cover under its ambit all the practicing advocates in Delhi on verified rolls of the Bar Council of Delhi irrespective of their place of residence/place of voting or any other criteria. That by restricting the applicability of Scheme to the members of Bar council of Delhi having Delhi Voter Id is strictly violative of the principles of Article 14 of the Constitution of India and also against the entire purpose of the Scheme.
the Petition.

In view of the above, the Petitioners have sought a direction to the Delhi Government to extend the benefits of the Scheme to all Delhi lawyers, irrespective of their permanent place of residence.

Speaking to Bar & Bench of the issue, Chairman of Bar Council of Delhi, KC Mittal said,

The condition for an advocate to be on the voters list of Delhi, was introduced by Delhi Government, without our consultation and knowledge. When it came to the notice of BCD, matter was taken up with CM, Delhi and Law Minister to include lawyers from NCR.. We even requested the Government to enhance budgetary allocation from 50 Crs to 200 Crs. The roll prepared by the BCD includes all lawyers even from NCR which has been provided to the Government of NCT of Delhi. All members of BCD are determined to include lawyers from NCR in welfare schemes and fully stand with them. We are and will take all steps to extend welfare schemes to NCR lawyers as well.
KC Mittal

Online application forms with OTP facility are presently available on the website of State Law Department for advocates who intend to avail the benefits of the Chief Minister’s Advocates Welfare Scheme.

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