The Delhi High Court recently ruled that the Chief Minister's Advocates' Welfare Scheme benefits all advocates registered with the Bar Council of Delhi, regardless of whether they are registered to vote in the national capital.
According to Justice Pratibha Singh, due to the unique geographical conditions of Delhi and the Supreme Court of India's location in Delhi, lawyers from all over India travel to Delhi to practise in Delhi courts.
Justice Prathiba M Singh went on to say that a lawyer's place of practise should take precedence over his or her residence, and that not everyone can afford to live in the national capital even if they practise there.
The High Court acknowledged that lawyers residing in the NCR but practising in Delhi play a role in the administration of justice here.
The Bench emphasized that the CM's scheme recognized the importance of advocates in society and the legal profession.
Justice Pratibha Singh clarified that the Bar Council of Delhi will contribute to the annual deficit in the Delhi government's budget.
The High Court Bench hearing petitions was seeking a direction to extend the scheme's benefits to all those enrolled with the BCD, regardless of whether their names appear on the national capital's voters list or not.
Advocate Sanjay Rathi, Member of the Bar Council of Delhi, applauded the decision of the Hon'ble Delhi High Court, stating that it is a step toward equality among the advocates enrolled with the Bar Council of Delhi.
According to the petitions, the discrimination based on names on the voters list in Delhi is not based on any reasonableness. Petitions have been filed seeking to overturn or modify the government's March 17 notification, including the removal of the eligibility condition for extending welfare benefits based on names on the Delhi voters list.
In October 2020, the Delhi High Court directed the Delhi government to purchase insurance policies from the LIC and New India Assurance Company (NIAC) for approximately 29,000 Delhi lawyers under the Scheme by November 30.
The scheme's total budgetary allocation is Rs. 50 crores