Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian ordered the transfer of all pending petitions in High Courts to itself which are for Financial Aid for Advocates. The apex court ordered the same on Monday when there was a confusion whether the petition in Madras High Court on matter has been disposed of or not.
The CJI-led bench proceeded to order the transfer of the Madras HC case when Senior Advocate Dr. AG Chelliah (the petitioner before Madras High Court) submitted before the bench that that the matter as disposed of by High Court in July, 2019 whereas Senior Advocate & Chairman Bar Council Of India Manan Kumar Mishra said that the claim is still pending before the said High Court. With the order the CJI said that the status of the case will be clear when the HC submits its office report.
The Supreme Court itself took suo moto cognizance in July, 2020 of financial difficulties of Advocates during COVID pandemic. And with that it issued notice to Bar Council of India, State Bar Councils, Registrar Generals of High Courts and Recognized Bar associations for Financial Aid for members of bar affected by pandemic.
Recently Bar Council of India suggested measures to provide interest free loan of up to ₹3lakhs to lawyers.
“If there is an advocate who had no income even before the pandemic, would you like to give him an amount so that he starts making money now and it becomes a source of income? You have to be careful…the pandemic cannot become a boon”, the CJI had remarked.