This article is written by Muskaan Bangani of Mody University of Science and Technology, Lakshmangarh, Rajasthan and curated by Dheepika R of ICFAI Law School, Hyderabad.
Chief Minister’s Advocates’ Welfare Scheme was introduced on the 12th December, 2019, by the Chief Minister of Delhi Mr. Arvind Kejriwal. The committee is headed by the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Mr. Rakesh Khanna.
A Committee of 13 members was set up to recommend to the Chief Minister.
There were four schemes incorporated namely:
- Group (Term) Insurance for practicing advocates providing life cover of Rs.10,00,000/- (Rupees Ten Lakhs) per advocate.
- Group Medi-claim coverage for the advocates, their spouse, and two dependent children up to the age of 25 years, for a family floater sum insured of Rs.5,00,000/- (Rupees Five Lakhs)
- E-Library with 10 computers loaded with e-journals in all the 6 district courts and
- Crèche Facility in the proposal to benefit nearly 40000 advocates in Delhi
The Bar Council of Delhi has filed a petition at the Delhi High Court to request the Delhi Government to grant medical and term insurance policies to advocates whose names have been registered and approved by the Delhi Government under the ‘Chief Minister Advocates Welfare Scheme’. It was alleged that on March 2020, an advertisement was published by the Delhi Government regarding the registration of advocates in the scheme that will commence from March 2021. The petition states that as soon as the process of registration started, a total lockdown was to be imposed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Since the last date for registration was March 31, 2020, the Bar Council of Delhi had made repeated requests to the Delhi Government to extend the period of registration, which was extended up to April 14, 2020.
The petition also states that according to this scheme, advocates who enrolled with the Bar Council of Delhi, are entitled to register under the scheme. Accordingly, the beneficiary of the scheme was entitled to medical insurance of Rs. 5 lakh and term insurance of Rs. 10 lakhs. Even after the promises made by the government, no schemes were made available during 2019-2020 and even during the disastrous COVID-19 crisis nothing was done. The petitioner further alleges that the respondent did not assure immediate implementation of the schemes, which is prejudicial and detrimental to the interest of advocates, who have already been registered and are eligible as per the scheme.
The petition was then moved through the Chairman of the Bar Council of Delhi, Mr. KC Mittal, who alleged that unwanted delay of the welfare scheme has deprived the legal community of its benefits. In the current circumstance especially, immediate orders are necessary to be passed by the court to protect the helpless and needy advocates.