CUTTACK: As a mark of protest against alleged delay by State Bar Council in providing financial assistance to needy advocates in view of the pandemic, a lawyer sold vegetables outside the Orissa High Court here on Thursday.
Sapan Kumar Pal, who sold vegetables from 8 am to 1 pm, said most of the lawyers in the city have no work for over three months now with the High Court and lower courts remaining closed due to the shutdown or functioning only to attend urgent matters through video conferencing. But the Council is yet to provide them financial assistance. “It seems like we will now have to sell vegetables to eke out living”, he said.
On April 5, the Bar Council of India had approved the Odisha State Bar Council Emergency Financial Assistance Rules, 2020, under which, lawyers in need of financial assistance for his/her sustenance during the crisis would be provided `10,000 in accordance with the procedure prescribed in the Rules.
The Council had invited applications for the fund from lawyers of different bar associations across the State by May 10.
State Bar Council sources said 15,000 applications had been received and scrutiny is on to prepare the list of lawyers eligible to get the financial assistance.
The Odisha State Bar Council Advocates’ Welfare Corpus Fund had been constituted for the purpose. So far, Rs 32 lakh has been donated to the Corpus Fund by lawyers with more than 15 years of practice.