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The Court was hearing a suo moto writ petition concerning the programmes adopted and enforced by the Bar Councils and Bar Associations for the welfare of their members during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The Uttar Pradesh Government has informed the Allahabad High Court that sufficient provisions have been made for creating a corpus of funds and for their distribution amongst advocates in times of need.
Additional Advocate General Manish Goyal informed a Division Bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Siddhartha Varma that in terms of Rules 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 44A and 44B of Part VI of The Bar Council of India Rules, Advocates Welfare Committees at the Bar Council of India as well as the State Council, and a Scheme for Financial Assitance to State Bar Councils and individuals were in existence.
The statments were made when the Court was hearing a suo moto writ petition concerning the programmes adopted and enforced by the Bar Councils and Bar Associations for the welfare of their members during the COVID-19 lockdown.
It was informed that as per the Scheme, on receiving information from the Chairman of a State Bar Council or Member etc, Advocates Welfare Committee of the Bar Council of India had the power to immediately sanction a reasonable amount not exceeding Rs.10,000 in an individual case and Rs 25,000 in case of some calamity involving more than one advocate.
AAG Goyal further submitted that the Bar Council of India, as well as the State Bar Councils, had sufficient funds to cater to the present circumstances.
It was added that while there were sufficient funds under the Uttar Pradesh Advocates Welfare Fund Act, 1974, the Uttar Pradesh Government has also transferred the money collected by it through the Advocate Welfare Stamp to the Treasury.
Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh stated that it was making an endeavour to make available funds for needy advocates in these difficult times.
The Allahabad High Court Bar Association also communicated that efforts were being made for disbursement of funds to lawyers who might require money.
The Awadh Bar Association urged the Court that instead of ad-hoc schemes, a definite scheme be brought into existence by the State Bar Council and the Bar Council of India for helping Advocates who require help.
In view of the submissions made by the parties, the Court directed the Bar Council of India and the Uttar Pradesh Bar Council to state the "definite procedure by which they have brought into effect the provisions of Rules 44A and 44B of the Bar Council of India Rules contained in Chapter V" on the next date of hearing.
"We also expect that the representatives of the Allahabad High Court Bar Association and the Bar Council of India would appear through video-conferencing on the next date and shall also produce before us the schemes which they might have formulated in the meantime.", it added.
Awadh Bar Association was represented by its President, HGS Parihar and General Secretary Sharad Pathak.
Advocate Anadi Krishna Narayan appeared for the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh.
The matter would be heard next on April 20.
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