COVID-19: Bar Council of Delhi seeks Rs 500 cr from Centre to aid advocates in Delhi, NCR

The Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) on Friday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking financial assistance under the contingency fund and PM Cares Fund to mitigate the hardship of the advocates in Delhi and NCR.

BCD chairman advocate KC Mittal, in his letter, said that due to COVID-19 and the lockdown, the courts were closed from March month and the advocates are confined to their houses, unable to attend the courts.

“Having regards to the situation and the demands on the resources of the country, it needs hardly to be emphasised that the legal community in Delhi/NCR is facing a severe financial crisis and the situation demands urgent intervention by the government by providing necessary funds to the tune of Rs 500 crore to the Bar Council of Delhi from contingency Fund of India as well as PM CARES Fund to mitigate the hardship of the advocates in Delhi/NCR,” the letter said.

It said that the lockdown from March 25 to June 30 had struck a grievous jolt to the earning of thousands of advocates, in the first instance, due to closure of courts.

“The condition of advocates has been worsening day by day forcing them to find even basic requirements being unmet. This has caused deep anguish and is a matter of great concern to the advocates and all of us at the Bar Council of Delhi,” the letter said.

“Unlock didn’t bring any relief, since contrary to expectations, the increase of cases is so high and the courts continue to remain closed as such gave no relief, rather aggravated the situation. One doesn’t know how long such a situation will continue,” it added.

The letter said that the conditions in the national capital have worsened and the “fear psychosis” and uncertainty amongst the people is a matter of concern.

It said that many advocates are unable to sustain themselves and almost four months of sitting at home without any work or income and the uncertainty of the resumption of the court, has multiplied the agony.

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