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"It needs hardly to be emphasized that the legal community in Delhi/NCR is facing a severe financial crisis and the situation demands urgent intervention by the Government", the letter states.
The Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) has written to the Prime Minister seeking financial relief for its lawyers unable to meet basic necessities as a result of the Coronavirus crisis, the lockdown announced, and the subsequent uncertainty in Court functioning and work.
The letter signed off by Advocate KC Mittal, Chairman Bar Council of Delhi states,
To mitigate the continuing hardship, the BCD has now sought for a sum of Rupees 500 Crores as financial relief to BCD.
Stating that the condition of advocates is worsening day by day, the letter requests the Prime Minister to release these funds from the Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund) as well as the Contingency Funds created under Article 267 of the Indian Constitution.
The letter highlights that as per available information, the PM CARES Fund has in its corpus a sum of Rs. 9,677.9 Crores to deal with disasters, emergencies, and situations of distress.
Moreover, Contingency Funds have categorically been created to meet "unforeseen disastrous situations" like the present, BCD Chairman KC Mittal writes.
BCD's Letter to the PM
Advocate Mittal records that the BCD has already disbursed a sum amounting to Rupees 8 Crores and more to advocates in need of financial assistance. However, much more is required to be done in order to afford them succour, he observes.
"Some support has been given by the Bar Council of Delhi, with their limited resources, which seems insufficient", the letter states.
Advocate Mittal ends the letter by saying that the grant of financial relief would go "a long way" in mitigating the hardships of advocates in Delhi/NCR.