Published On: September 21,2021 at 15:47 IST
The Delhi High Court granted a temporary Stay on a Single Judge Order for extension of benefits under Chief Minister Advocates’ Welfare Scheme to all lawyers who are residing in the NCR region but are practicing in Delhi.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Amit Bansal ordered that operation of the Single Judge Order will remain Stayed until the next date of hearing.
Advocate Satyakam appearing for Delhi Government, submitted that if the impunged order is not Stayed, the Delhi Government will have to pay premiums for all the Advocates, including those residing in NCR, and thereafter even if the appeal is decided in Government’s favour, it would still have to bear financial loss.
A scheme was rolled out for welfare of advocates with an annual outlay of Rs.50 crores, by the Delhi Government led by Arvind Kejriwal.
The scheme was extended to practising advocates who are enrolled with the Bar Council of Delhi and are also in the voters’ list of Delhi.
Justice Prathiba Singh, while allowing the appeals filed by Bar Council of Delhi observed, “The condition in the Scheme that it would be applicable only to residents in Delhi with Voter IDs, is held to be discriminatory and arbitrary as the sub-classification from amongst the advocates enrolled with the Bar Council of Delhi, has no rational nexus with the object to be achieved.”
However, in its Plea the Delhi Government argued that question as to which category of lawyers are eligible for benefits under the Scheme is an issue of policy.
The next date of hearing is decided to be September 30, 2021.