Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud on Saturday said that lawyers should pay their juniors a decent salary for the Bar to be democratised.
The CJI during a felicitation event organised by the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa, emphasised on the need of adequately compensating the young lawyers and looking upon them as people who have valuable contributions.
The CJI said that we pay ₹65,000 to law clerks and he is often asked as to why pay so much? He added that that we must recognize the value of the intern or lawyer. We must look upon a young person as someone who will have valuable contribution to insight.
In his address, CJI stressed on the importance of creating opportunities for junior lawyers.
The CJI said that we need not cover the crevices of what is wrong in the system. We must try and repair it.
The CJI also added that in the legal profession we still have feudal remnants in the form of monetary issues such as enrolment fee being high.
With the audience, the CJI shared that that all his five juniors were first-generation lawyers, but there remained an equal opportunity barrier since the mode of recruitment was not transparent.
He asked The law clerks and interns are recruited on the basis of informal network. How do we open to those not having the network?
The CJI disclosed the process of recruitment in his office where he has a three stage process, recruitment from all places not just NLUs. He said we shortlist and we give then a day’s time to make a brief, to make a research note is second process. Then there is interview.”
This is not the first time the CJI has called upon lawyers across the country to pay their juniors well. Sometime back in November, he had insisted on the importance of lawyers not treating their juniors as slave workers merely because the senior themselves had to learn the law the hard way during their early days in the profession.