SC declines plea for rent waiver, relief for lawyers

COVID-19: SC declines plea for rent waiver, relief for lawyers

We can't create special category for lawyers: Supreme Court

PTI/File photo

The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to consider a PIL for granting relief in payment of chambers rent by advocates suffering financial losses due to lockdown. 

The top court also refused to issue any direction on a separate plea for creating a financial emergency fund for lawyers.

"Tomorrow engineers will come, architects will come. How can we give special dispensation to lawyers? This is unreasonable for us to do. There may be old ladies, aged persons as landlords. How can we say this," a bench presided over by Chief Justice S A Bobde told a senior advocate making such a request.

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Senior advocate Kailash Vasdev for Supreme Court Bar Association, contended we are not saying that rent for lawyers chambers should not be charged. It should not be made a ground for eviction during the lockdown. 

"We are not going to enter into this issue. You are not entitled to any special consideration," the bench said.

 

 

A PIL by Pawan Prakash Pathak sought a direction to the Bar Council of India for the creation of a financial emergency fund for practicing advocates. He said the Allahabad, Jharkhand, and Calcutta High Courts have taken up the issue. With courts having been shut down, advocates practicing independently have been left with no source of income, he submitted. 

"We can't create a special category for lawyers when unfortunately the whole country is facing a difficult situation. Let the BCI decide," a bench presided over by Justice N V Ramana said.

The bench said all persons were without work. Architects are without work, others are also without work. This is something for the BCI to consider. 

"We don't have funds to give to you. It's for the Bar Councils to take action. We cannot tell the Bar Council to do so," the bench added.