On July 23, 2020, Justice Siddharth Mridul of Delhi high court has provided funds to the lawyer’s welfare fund which was set up for those advocates affected by the pandemic, by the Bar Council of Delhi (BCD). Justice Mridul is one of the first judges to take the initiative.
Due to the courts still not functioning on a regular basis, litigators and lawyers are facing an economic burden. This has led to depression and suicide. Judiciary has taken up the baton to help the lawyers in this crisis.
The trust was established by Delhi’s Bar Council to achieve the objective of helping economically burdened lawyers who are facing struggles due to the lack of physical functioning of courts. The Bar Council, in a recent hearing, mentioned that since the initial phase of lockdown, it has made an effort to pay 16,448 advocates a sum of Rs. 5000 which comes to a total of Rs 8.22 crore. The effort is still going on to alleviate the lawyers from their struggle.
Idolising Justice Siddharth Mridul’s case, most judges working at the Rohini court complex have taken up plans that contribute greatly to the well-being of lawyers. The aim is that these funds should be utilized for their benefit. The subordinate court judges have asked for permission from the High Court of Delhi with respect to the same goal.
In a press statement, Chairman KC Mittal of Bar Council of Delhi backed the development. “We are indeed grateful to honorable justice Siddharth Mridul for donating Rs 1 lakh to BCD. We hope that others also come forward to donate generously,” Mittal mentioned.
The Bar Council of India expressed its gratitude to the aid given by the judiciary. Co-Chairman Ved Prakash Sharma, Bar Council of India said that the Council “highly appreciates the affectionate gesture of Hon'ble Justice Sidharth Mridul in making a contribution in Lawyers' welfare fund of Bar Council of Delhi for financial assistance to young and needy lawyers distressed due to the pandemic COVID-19 and continued suspension of normal court functioning which has drained out their financial resources.”
Ved Sharma further expressed that Justice Mridul was a member and vice-chairman of Bar Council of Delhi and “has befittingly responded to the pathetic conditions lawyers are forced to live in due to the unprecedented crisis caused by the pandemic and closure of physical court functioning. This contribution made by justice Mridul will inspire all Senior members of the bar and Judges alike to do their bit for needy lawyers grappling with the worst phase of their life.”
Among the initiatives taken by the council, the BCD has also established an Indigent and Disabled Lawyers' Committee, taking into consideration the tough situation at hand, in order to aim advocates struggling from COVID-19.