The Karnataka State Bar Council and Advocates’ Association of Bengaluru has been directed by the Karnataka High Court, to make a scheme for the Advocates’ clerks, to benefit those who are suffering due to non-functioning of the courts, due to national lockdown due to COVID19.
This comes after a petition was filed by the Karnataka State Level Advocates Clerks Association, which sought financial aid from the State Bar Council for the clerks who have been suffering due to the closure of the courts. The petition submitted that due to virtual courts, their work has been reduced and therefore, their income has reduced. The petitioners prayed for a financial assistance of Rs. 10,000 till the courts resume their normal functioning.
The State Bar Council has replied to the above petition and have said that these clerks should consult the lawyers under whom they have been employed, for the financial help. The Council added that they are not in position to offer such scheme for clerks as nothing has been given in the Karnataka Registered Clerks Welfare Funds Act, or in the Rules of 2009.They emphasized that under Rule 6, fund can only be given for two contingencies. First, when a member ceases to be a registered clerk and the second, when unfortunate death of a member takes place. Which shows that the Rules of 2009 does not allow allocating funds to help them in a situation of a pandemic.
Despite this, the court ordered the State Bar council and the Advocates Association to make a scheme for the welfare of the members of the Bar, as the petitioners are registered clerks under the Rules of 1959. They court also opined that the Association can create fund for these members who plays an important role for the benefit of members of the Bar and who are in dire need of help in these testing times.