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Delhi High Court rules welfare scheme by Delhi govt cannot be restricted to lawyers resident in Delhi

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The Delhi High Court on Monday ruled that the CM Advocates Welfare Scheme by the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) cannot be restricted to only lawyers resident in Delhi.

The Court held that lawyers practicing in Delhi and registered with the Bar Council of Delhi but residing in the larger National Capital Region (NCR) also eligible without insistence on voter ID showing residence in Delhi. The judgment was pronounced by Justice Prathiba M. Singh. 

The court had earlier reserved its judgment on a batch of petitions, including a plea moved by the Bar Council of Delhi (BCD), seeking a grant of the medical and term insurance for the lawyers registered with it.

According to the BCD’s plea, moved through its chairman K.C. Mittal, there are 37,135 lawyers, who are registered voters in Delhi, and of them, 29,098 are on the BCD’s rolls and have been verified by it.

It has said that through a Cabinet decision of December 17, 2019, the Delhi government decided to provide medical insurance of ₹5 lakh and term insurance of ₹10 lakh to lawyers, who are residents of the capital under the Chief Minister’s Advocates’ Welfare Scheme.

The petition contended that no scheme was made available in 2019-20 and even during the Covid-19 nothing was done.

The court was also hearing a plea moved by advocate Govind Swaroop Chaturvedi, seeking a direction to extend the benefit of the scheme to all those enrolled with the BCD, whether their names appear on the voters’ list of Delhi or not.

Chaturvedi said he is enrolled with the BCD, has a membership of the Delhi High Court Bar Association, practices in the courts in New Delhi, but does not reside in the capital now and claimed that the notification is discriminatory, illegal, and unreasonable.

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The plea also says the discrimination on the basis of names on the voters’ list in Delhi is not based on any reasonableness.

The pleas have sought to quash or modify the government’s March 17 notification to the extent of deleting the eligibility condition on the basis of names on the voters’ list of Delhi for extending welfare benefits.

Read the Judgment here;

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