R.O.C.No.840 of 2020 13.05.2020
The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India,
Government of India,
7, Race Course Road,
New Delhi 110 001.
Sub: Request to provide financial assistance from Special Economic Stimulus Package to the Advocates practicing in Tamilnadu & Puducherry due to COVID – 19 Pandemic situation and also extent the same to the advocates all over India – Reg.
Due to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic disease all over the world, and the World Health Organisation advised all the countries to take immediate steps to prevent from spreading over the disease to other persons. In accordance with the advice of the World Health Organisation, the Central Government as well as the State Governments have declared lockdown of all functions of Institutions and centers etc.,
The entire world and entire country is passing through the most difficult time, which we have ever witnessed in our life time owing to the menace of Corona Virus. All professions except those providing service is essential service sectors have virtually gone into a lock down mode and that is advisable too, as the only way to stop the further outbreak and spread of this virus is by way of social distancing and isolation. However, the Advocates and Courts are still almost functioning albeit in a restrictivemode where important matters are being heard with only Advocates of both sides, besides the Hon’ble Judge, being present to argue, as in most civil case clients and parties are not required to be present in Court.
Accordingly, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has also taken suomotu action and issued several direction to all the courts to deal with the cases pending before the Court by using video conferences. Subsequent to that the Hon’ble High Courts in India have also issued circular to its sub-ordinate courts to conduct the cases.
The advocate profession is a noble profession and the advocates are appearing in courts and pleading on behalf of their clients, in order to protect the legal right of their clients.. Thus, those among our Advocates fraternity, attending and pleading in courts are not free from being infected from/with the Virus inspite of best precautions. It is only a handful of limited Advocates in the country, who can be comfortably stated to be in a position to survive and subsist without any earning during this time of crisis. Most of the lawyers are not financially well of and they are earning daily basis and maintaining their family members with meager income and now they have been seriously impacted by the lockdown. Moreover, while passing suo-motu orders under Article-142 of the Constitution of India, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has stressed that “TECHNOLOGY IS HERE TO STAY”. The ground reality is that most of the Lawyers, particularly Junior Lawyers do not have the technological support in view of their poor financial status.
I would like to bring to your Honour’s notice that COVID-19 pandemic is effectively brought normal life to a halt in India and the importance of social distancing and a lockdown in curbing the spreading of the virus cannot be stressed enough, but these measures also have huge repercussions on livelihood and the economy at large. Due to the above said reasons, many young and women lawyers practicing all over India are finding difficulties to make ends meet and the need of the hour is to provide financial assistance to those lawyers to equip themselves as per the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court for practicing in the Courts by use of techonology.
Considering all those aspects, the Chairman, Bar Council of India has also written a letter to your goodself requesting to provide financial assistance to the needy lawyers who are all suffering due to lock down. On 12.05.2020, at 8.00 P.M. Your Honour has announced a Special Economic Stimulus Package of Rs. 20 Lakhs Crore for the peoples, who are all suffering due to the lockdown through media. Majority of the Advocates are also part of the said group of citizens of this great nation and package in the form of financial assistance should be given to such advocates.
It is pertinent to point out here that most of the Advocates practicing all over Tamilnadu & Puducherry are not attending the Courts and they were not able to earn for their livelihood. Even after the lifting of lockdown, the life for the Lawyers in India is going to be same since the Hon’ble Supreme Court has clearly declared that “TECHNOLOGY HAS COME TO STAY”. Hence those Lawyers deserve to receive financial assistance to install the required technical support for continuing their practice. Therefore, it is highly necessary to provide help to the needy lawyers by providing a loan of minimum Rupees One Lakh which is repayable with in 3 years without any security and interest and it will be useful for all lawyers who are suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The same help may be extended to the lawyers practicing all over India.
Therefore, I request your goodself to provide loan of minimum Rupees One Lakh which is payable within 3 years without any security and interest to the needy/financially not well off advocates who are identified by the concerned State Bar Councils in order to meet out the expenses to install the required technical support for continuing their practice and it will be remembered always by the legal fraternity all over India.
(P.S. AMALRAJ) CHAIRMAN, BAR COUNCIL