New Delhi [India], July 12 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Monday ordered to extend the Delhi Government's Chief Minister Advocates' Welfare Scheme for lawyers practising in Delhi courts to those enrolled with Bar Council of Delhi residing in Delhi NCR also.
A bench of Justice Pratibha M Singh on Monday while passing the judgement on a batch of petitions in this regard including Bar Council of Delhi's plea, said that the said scheme cannot be restricted to lawyers resident in Delhi. The court in its order stated that the lawyers resident of NCR having registration of Bar Council Delhi (BCD) are also eligible to get benefits of this scheme.
"Insistence on ID proofs showing residence in Delhi to avail the welfare scheme is discriminatory, arbitrary and has no link to the object of the scheme," said Justice Prathiba M Singh while pronouncing the order.
The scheme will be extended to all lawyers enrolled with BCD whose names and credentials are verified without insistence on voter ID showing residence in Delhi.
Advocate Narinder Benipal, Executive Member Delhi High Court Bar Association said, "Congratulations to all the advocates enrolled under the Bar Council of Delhi residing in NCR region who were not allowed Mediclaim Scheme on the ground of non-resident of Delhi, filed by me permitted all the advocates registered under Bar Council of Delhi and declared them to be eligible for the said insurance scheme and opening of the portal is also ordered."
The court in order also said that "for the current year, all advocates registered for benefits under the scheme would be extended the benefits."
Several practising lawyers in Delhi residing in Delhi NCR had approached Delhi High Court challenging the decision taken by the Delhi cabinet whereby the benefits of the scheme were restricted to the members of BCD, who are also voters in the city.
The decision was taken despite the recommendation of a 13-member committee to include all the members enrolled with the Bar Council of Delhi as beneficiaries under the Scheme. All the petitioners are voters in the neighbouring states of Delhi.
The plea mentioned that intervention of the court is needed so that equal treatment is meted out to advocates whose names do not figure in the voter list of Delhi but are registered with the Bar Council of Delhi and have put in the same efforts for a number of years in upholding the dignity of the profession.
It prayed that the respondents be directed to "rectify this grave error immediately" and thereby include all the existing members of BCD into this scheme and if required the time limit to register into this scheme be also extended.
The High Court Court was hearing several petitions seeking medical and term insurance policy to advocates as promised by the Delhi government. Bar Council of Delhi had also filed the petition for an extension of time for registration of those advocates, who could not be registered. (ANI)