Delhi High Court Issues Notice On the Extension of CM Advocates’ Welfare Scheme

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Delhi High Court issued a notice in a plea to extend the benefits of the CM Advocates’ Welfare Scheme. The plea prayed to extend the benefits of the scheme to all Delhi Advocates. It should be irrespective of the fact that whether their name is in Delhi Voters List or not.

Facts of the Case

In 2019, the Government of Delhi announced the Chief Minister’s Advocates Welfare Scheme. The scheme contemplates benefits like term insurance and medical coverage. The scheme was applicable to Advocates of the Bar Council of Delhi and have their name in the Delhi Voters List. The petitioner indicated that the scheme was discriminatory and ultra vires. This is for the reason that it excludes people from the NCR region.

Arguments by the Petitioner

The petitioner argues that there are many practitioners who live in the NCR region. They are part of the Bar Council of Delhi and practice in the Delhi High Court and lower courts. Hence, depriving non-Delhi advocates of the benefits of the scheme is not reasonable.

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Moreover, the form for enrollment requires whether the person is from Delhi or NCR region. Nevertheless, the main argument is that everyone within the Bar Council of Delhi should get the benefits of the scheme.

Arguments by the Respondents

K.C. Mittal, counsel for Bar Council of Delhi states that approximately 20% of the advocates are from the NCR region. He states that excluding them will leave out a large number of advocates of the Bar Council of Delhi. Moreover, the Bar Council of Delhi filed a writ petition against the second condition imposed by the Government of Delhi.

The Counsels for Delhi Government, also state that the scheme is not managed by the Bar Council of Delhi. They further state that the scheme is by the local government for the local residents of Delhi. Furthermore, they stated that the advocates of the NCR region are excluded from the scheme.

Court’s Observation and Decision

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A single-judge bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh issued notices to the Bar Council of Delhi, Bar Council of India, and Delhi Government. Since the state is prone to the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems that as the matter deals with medical and group insurance, there is an urgency in the same. The Court requires consideration of whether the scheme can extend to all members of the Bar Council of Delhi. The matter would be further heard on June 18, 2020.


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