CM Advocates’ Welfare Scheme was announced recently by the Chief Minister of Delhi, Mr. Arvind Kejriwal. This scheme came up after the formation of a Committee in December 2019 by the Chief Minister, headed by the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association Mr. Rakesh Khanna. The Committee had 13 members who were advocates and were given the responsibility to formulate schemes that will benefit the advocates of Delhi. The Committee recommended that those who are enrolled with the Bar Council of Delhi, subject to cross-checking by Bar Associations they are associated with, which includes the Supreme Court Bar Association, The Delhi High Court Bar Association, NCLAT, NCLT, etc., and those who have voter ID cards i.e, should be enrolled in the voter’s list and for that, it requires them to be a resident of Delhi, should only be eligible to take the benefits of this scheme. This was a controversial clause.
Along with the CM Advocates’ Welfare Scheme, the Committee also rolled out Rs. 50 Crore in the budget in honor of the advocates for their great contribution towards society in general. This wonderful step by the state government received widespread admiration.
The Committee gave a compiled set of 4 recommendations finally to the Chief Minister which included – Group (Term) Insurance, Group Medi – Claim, e-library, and creche facilities, which we will now see in detail.
- The government of Delhi came up with the CM Advocate’s Welfare Scheme to benefit the advocates of the state who are registered with the Bar Council of Delhi and have voter ID cards in Delhi.
- The registration will be done through the website of the Department of Law, Justice, and Legislative Affairs. It is fairly simple.
- The scheme violates the rule of equality before the law and in this regard, a petition was filed challenging the discriminatory clause, it was then decided in the favour of the petition, and benefits are now extended.
Group (Term) Insurance
As per the proposal by the Committee in cooperation with the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), every practicing lawyer in Delhi will get a life term insurance of Rs.10,00,000. The Law Ministry of National Capital territory will be the nodal agency for the same and will have authority to negotiate the premium in the future as the LIC rates are very competitive.
As per the data provided by BCD, there are 40, 115 advocates who will benefit from this scheme.
The Committee recommended providing medical coverage to all Delhi-based lawyers and their families through a group medical plan provided by any insurance company. The Committee has suggested considering the offer of a group medi claim policy of Rs. 8,500 adding GST for the advocate, spouse, and 2 children up to the age of 25 years.
The Committee in the said scheme has also recommended making facilities for e-library in 6 district courts of Delhi namely Tis Hazari Courts Complex, Karkardooma Court Complex, Patiala House Court Complex, Rohini Court Complex, Dwarka Courts Complex, and Saket Court Complex. This was suggested on the backdrop of poor working facilities in libraries there. It pointed out that lawyers require extensive legal research to be done and thus accessing all the case laws, sections and other legal material should be hassle-free. The Committee thus proposed setting up 10 computers each in these district courts with e-journals and all the legal databases such as SCC Online, Manupatra, All India Reporter, and others, with printers.
There is a provision by the Committee to provide a creche facility for free in all 6 districts for all the female advocates and female personnel employed by lawyers. It is recommended that LIC Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) will be used to administer these creches and if they are unable to do so, then the government will do this with their expenses, like the Supreme Court of India’s.
The registration process for the scheme
All advocates who are registered with the Bar Council of Delhi and are enrolled in the voter’s list of Delhi i.e. who are residents of Delhi are eligible for registration under this scheme. Registration was started from 21st March to 31st March 2020.
Steps to be followed
- Open the official website of the Department of Law, Justice, and Legislative Affairs.
- Click on the link which asks you to fill the form and then the form will be visible.
- Fill in the required details asked in the form.
- A verification preview will come up for the information filled in.
- Then an OTP will be received after submitting the form and then after submitting the OTP, registration will be done.
- Thereafter, the advocates will receive a unique ID number on the registered numbers/mail IDs.