The Delhi High Court was informed by the Advocates Welfare Trust on Friday that it has decided to earmark Rs 1 crore to pay ex-gratia to indigent lawyers, who are its members, whether they are suffering from COVID-19 or not.
The trust, represented by Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain in his capacity as its chairperson, told a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan that the decision was taken on Wednesday and applications have been invited from advocates who are in need of the relief.
It told the court that earlier it had earlier set aside Rs 2 crore towards the COVID-19 relief fund for its members who are indigent and suffering from COVID-19.
Besides that, Jain said, a sub-committee has also been constituted for the purpose of disbursing the funds.
Taking note of the steps being taken by the trust, the bench decided there was no need to further monitor the plea, by advocate Vaibhav Sharma, seeking ex-gratia payment of Rs 25,000 to each member of the trust who is suffering financially in the wake of coronavirus.
The lawyer representing Sharma told the court that the amounts mentioned by the trust were not sufficient in view of the large number of lawyers and sought a direction to the trust to invite more advocates to join it so that they too can benefit from the welfare activities of the trust.
The court, thereafter, told the trust that when its financial position permits it may consider increasing the amounts earmarked for providing ex-gratia to lawyers.
The bench also asked the trust to consider increasing its number of members by informing the lawyers about its activities so that more advocates can join it.
It also asked the trust and the Bar Council of Delhi to continue with their welfare activities and disposed of the plea.
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