Thursday, March 30, 2023

Bar Council of India writes to PM Modi to provide subsistence allowance of minimum Rs. 20,000 to young lawyers to survive in times of Coronavirus

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Senior Advocate Manan Kumar Mishra, Chairman of Bar Council of India wrote a letter today to Sh. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India and Chief Ministers of all States for providing a minimum sum of Rs. 20,000/- per month as subsistence allowance to young and needy members of legal fraternity. He mentioned in the letter that subsistence allowance is needed to enable the young lawyers and their families to subsist and survive these trying times of Corona virus. Mr. Mishra in his urgent appeal mentioned that funds maybe provided from Centre Funds and State Government funds or jointly by either providing the same directly or through Advocate Welfare Fund of the respective State Bar Council.

Mr. Mishra wrote that the entire world and entire country is passing through the most difficult time which we have ever witnessed in our life time owing to menace of Corona virus. All Professions except those providing service in essential service sectors have gone into a lockdown mode, as the only way to stop the further outbreak is by social distancing and isolation. However, Advocates and Courts are still almost functioning albeit in a limited/restrictive mode where important matters are being heard with only Advocates of both sides, besides the Hon’ble Judge, being present to argue. The Profession of advocacy is a noble profession and we are doing our bit in these trying times as appearing in courts and pleading on behalf of our clients help in keeping the legal and rightful social balance alive as human rights, title and interest and legal rights cannot be allowed to be violated even in such trying times. Our duty is nothing short of social duty, responsibility and service which we are still discharging. Thus, inspite of best precautions, Advocates appearing Courts are not free from infection.

The Letter by Bar Council of India mentioned that Advocate fraternity has no social security and if anything happens to anyone, they maybe forced to live a pitiful life of deprivation and starvation as most Advocates are sole bread earners of their family including brothers, sisters, children and aged parents. Only 10% of Advocates in our country are in position to survive in times of crisis without any earning. In times of crisis, work opportunities have ceased as clients are not flocking to Courts. Advocates need to keep their families alive by providing basic food, health and medicinal facilities to them.

Bar Council reminded the Government that duty of a welfare State is to provide social security to its citizens. Therefore, Bar Council called upon our beloved Prime Minister and all Chief Ministers to provide a subsistence allowance of 20,000/- Rupees.

The letter also mentioned that a helpline number, email or whatsapp number can be created for this purpose and funds can be allocated directly, through State Government or State Bar Council.

-Gurjot Singh 

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