New Delhi, Jul 12 (ILNS) The Delhi High Court today ruled that the Chief Minister Advocates Welfare Scheme, started by the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD), cannot be restricted to lawyers resident of Delhi.
The Single-Judge Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh held that Lawyers practicing in Delhi and registered with the Bar Council of Delhi, but not residing in NCR are also eligible, without insistence on voter ID showing residence in Delhi.
The Court had earlier reserved its judgement on a batch of petitions, including a plea moved by the Bar Council of Delhi (BCD), seeking grant of mediclaim and term insurance for the lawyers registered with it.
According to the BCD’s plea, moved through its chairman KC Mittal, 37,135 lawyers are registered voters in Delhi, out of which, 29,098 are on the BCD’s rolls and have been verified by it.
It said that through a Cabinet decision of December 17, 2019, the Delhi government decided to provide a medical insurance of lakh and a term insurance of Rs 10 lakh to lawyers, who are residents of the national capital, under the Chief Minister’s Advocates’ Welfare Scheme.
The petition contended that no scheme was made available in 2019-20 and even during the COVID-19, nothing was done.
The court was also hearing a plea moved by Advocate Govind Swaroop Chaturvedi, seeking a direction to extend the benefit of the scheme to all those enrolled with the BCD, whether their names appear on the voters’ list of the national capital or not.
Mr Swaroop said he is enrolled with the BCD, has the membership of the Delhi High Court Bar Association, practises in the courts in New Delhi, but does not reside in the national capital now and claimed that the notification is discriminatory, illegal and unreasonable.
The plea further said that discrimination on the basis of names on the voters’ list in Delhi is not based on any logical reason.
The pleas have sought to quash or modify the government’s March 17 notification to the extent of deleting the eligibility condition on the basis of names on the voters’ list of Delhi, for extending the welfare benefits. ILNS/KR/RJ/SNG