The Delhi High Court on May 29, 2019, asked the Centre and the State Governments to file reply on a plea seeking steps for security and welfare measures, including medical insurance, for advocates in Delhi.
A Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Brijesh Sethi issued the notice while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by three lawyers -- Tajinder Singh, Anurag Chauhan and Yakub Raza. They sought steps for protection of advocates while discharging their duties.
The petition submits that although lawyers are an integral part of Indian democracy, and indispensable to the independence of the judiciary and many other institutions, there are no protective measures in place to “protect this noble profession”.
“..the lawyers are integral part of the justice dispensation system and as officers of the court, they are indispensable, but do not get any similar treatment… the job of advocate has no stability, it depends upon the lawyer and his cases, and there is no uniformity in the amount of fees charged and many advocates also provide aid by way of giving probono services just to uplift the social cause,” the petitioners said.
The petitioners also requested social security and welfare measures, like medical facility, housing schemes, financial assistance to young lawyers, pension schemes and health care insurance for lawyers and their families.
Further, in the wake of criminal attacks and malicious prosecutions against advocates, the petitioners sought immediate appointment of a committee/panel to examine and give recommendations for the protection of advocates when they are discharging their duties in the administration of justice.
“..(The Petitioners are) continually encountering reports in the media as well as by word of mouth of such attacks. Hence, it is even more important that some protective measures be immediately enacted to protect this noble profession. The petitioners submit that such assaults also abrogate the advocate’s right to dignity and sully his reputation,” the petitioners said adding that on the basis of findings of the committee/panel the Central and State Government must enact necessary laws for the protection of advocates.
The court has listed the matter for further hearing on August 7, 2019.