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HC asks Centre, Delhi govt to respond to plea for advocates' welfare measures


Press Trust of India New Delhi
The Delhi High Court Wednesday sought response of the Centre and the Delhi government on a plea seeking effective steps for security and welfare measures, including medical insurance, for advocates.
A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Brijesh Sethi issued notice to the central and state governments on the PIL and listed the matter for further hearing on August 7.
The plea filed by three lawyers submitted that due to increasing number of attacks on the legal fraternity, in which some are being allegedly implicated in false cases by the police, there is a need for 'Advocates Protection Act' to ensure their safety.
The petition, filed by advocates Tajinder Singh, Anurag Chauhan and Yakub Raza, sought a direction to the authorities to take effective steps for protection, social security and welfare measures including medical insurance for advocates in Delhi.
"It is the primary responsibility of the respondents (Centre and state government) to protect the rights of advocates and help them to get justice by fighting for their rights in the courts of law.
"While doing so, if they antagonise the interest of certain sections of people, they are targeted by such section who are even nefarious elements to cause bodily harm," it said.
The plea referred to some of the attacks on lawyers in which their cars were set on fire by unidentified persons.
It also mentioned that a several lawyers were brutally beaten up and assaulted allegedly by civic agency staff and police of West Bengal after which the bar council had ceased work.
"The judiciary system comprises both judges as well as of advocates and it is responsibility of the Government to protect the interest of advocates as it does of judicial officers," the plea said.
It referred to several states including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, saying these states have Advocate Welfare Fund Act and they provide claim in the event of death, retirement, medical expenses, financial hardship.
The plea sought direction to set up a panel to examine and give recommendations for protection of advocates as also for implementing the advocates' fundamental rights of social security and welfare measures like housing schemes, financial assistance to young lawyers, pension, health care insurance to every advocate along with his family.

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First Published: May 29 2019 | 7:15 PM IST

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