Advocate General S P Gupta has drawn flak from the UP Bar Council for allegedly misusing government funds and furthering vested interests. Perceived to be very close to the Samajwadi Party leaders, Gupta is the chairman of the Advocates’ Welfare Trust.
The council has now decided to hold a protest meeting of lawyers here on July 20 to condemn the apathetic attitude of the AG towards the welfare of lawyers and to chalk out its future course of action, UP Bar Council chairman Ajay Kumar Shukla told Express on Monday.
Gupta is the first AG to be severely criticised by the council -- a recognised body of advocates with over 3.5 lakh members.
Shukla claimed the SP Government had given funds worth `80 crore in the last two years in two equal instalments for the welfare of advocates, construction of their chambers from the state to tehsil levels and for providing financial assistance to the families of the deceased lawyers. The funds were transferred to the trust, but did not reach the beneficiaries.
“The funds were not used for the purpose the government had sanctioned them for, rather the AG squandered the money in blatant violation of the norms,” Shukla said.
He said he had written several times to the UP Government, but no action had been taken in this regard. “If the Akhilesh Government fails to rein in the wayward AG, the lawyer community would teach the SP a lesson in the 2014 polls,” he said.
“An aid of `50,000 was sanctioned for a woman, whose lawyer-husband died before the age of 60. Based on the council’s demand, the state government later increased the assistance to `5 lakh and sanctioned funds. She told me recently that she is yet to get the assistance. The welfare trust has adequate funds, but they are not reaching the right hands,” a woman lawyer said.