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Friday, December 13, 2019

Delhi govt sets up panel on ways to spend lawyers’ fund

Matters came to a head in October when the Bar Council of Delhi threatened to hit the streets against Agarwal over the delay. Agarwal had suggested that such decisions cannot be implemented without taking prior consent of the Lt Governor.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: November 30, 2019 10:41:55 am
Delhi lawyers, delhi city news, Arvind Kejriwal, delhi lawyers, Tis Hazari clash, Indian Express CM Arvind Kejriwal and Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot on Friday.

The Delhi government Friday formed a 13-member committee of senior advocates to recommend ways to spend a Rs 50 crore corpus, announced in the annual budget in February, meant for the welfare of lawyers practising in the national capital.

During the Tis Hazari clash between lawyers and policemen, the AAP had spoken in support of advocates, accusing the police of acting at the behest of the BJP.

“It was a long-time demand from the advocate community to initiate an exclusive scheme for their welfare. It materialised now,” Kejriwal said.

The committee has been directed to submit its report within 10 days. The committee members include President of the Supreme Court Bar Association (Convenor) Rakesh Kumar Khanna and Chairman of Delhi Bar Council K C Mittal.

The Rs 50-crore fund, part of the Chief Minister’s Advocates Welfare Scheme as announced in the annual budget in February, could not be implemented so far due to disagreements between Principal Secretary (Law) Sanjay Kumar Agarwal and Law Minister Kailash Gahlot over allocation of powers.

Matters came to a head in October when the Bar Council of Delhi threatened to hit the streets against Agarwal over the delay. Agarwal had suggested that such decisions cannot be implemented without taking prior consent of the Lt Governor.

On Friday, asked about the nearly 10-month-long delay, Kejriwal said, “A lot of things happened, which should not be spoken about now. After all, all’s well that ends well.”

On September 24, another proposal to affix a value of Rs 25 on every vakalatnama, which was also pending for a long time, was cleared by Agarwal. Vakalatnama is a document which authorises a lawyer to represent a client.

“After considering the recommendations of the committee, the Delhi government will implement the scheme as early as possible,” Kejriwal added.

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