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The Uttarakhand High Court has directed the Bar Council of Uttarakhand to coordinate with the Bar Council of India (BCI) to arrange funds to help advocates in need amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
On Wednesday the Division Bench comprising of Justices Manoj Tiwari and Sharad Kumar Sharma also asked the State Finance Department to decide by April 27 on a proposal made for the release of funds to aid such needy advocates.
Advocate Piyush Garg, counsel appearing for the Bar Council of Uttarakhand had informed the High Court that the Law Secretary of the state had already recommended to the Finance Secretary for release of money lying in the Advocate Welfare Fund in order to financially assist such needy advocates.
Therefore, the Court directed the Principal Secretary (Finance), Government of Uttarakhand to take a decision on the recommendation made by the Law Secretary positively by April 27, so that the Bar Council of Uttarakhand may be able to provide financial assistance to such indigent lawyers.
The Court added that,
Uttarakhand High Court
The Advocate General, S N Babulkar who is also the Chairman of the Advocate Welfare Fund Trust Committee also intimated the Court that urgent meetings had already been convened and that efforts were being made to arrange for such funds immediately.
The Court has now listed the matter for April 28, while also observing that the relief money cannot wait for long, as lawyers are facing an unprecedented hardship during this time.
Read the order here:
On related note, recently, the Karnataka High Court asked the BCI and the Karnataka State Bar Council (KSBC) what immediate relief could be extended to needy members of the Bar who are suffering due to lack of income owing to the Coronavirus Lockdown.