Fix minimum pay for junior lawyers, Madras HC tells Bar Council

Safeguarding the rights, privileges and interests of the advocates is one of the functions of the State Bar Council.
The bench directed Bar Council to submit its views on framing guidelines on payment of remuneration to junior lawyers
The bench directed Bar Council to submit its views on framing guidelines on payment of remuneration to junior lawyers (Photo | Express)

CHENNAI: Stressing that young lawyers should not be exploited, the Madras High Court on Thursday stated that the Bar Council should ensure the livelihood of junior lawyers by fixing a minimum stipend.

“Exploitation at no circumstances can be permitted nor be appreciated. Therefore, it is the function of the Bar Council to ensure that the livelihood of these lawyers are protected by fixing minimum stipend to be paid in the event of engaging the services of the junior lawyers, who have enrolled,” a division bench of Justices SM Subramaniam and C Kumarappan said in an interim order passed on Thursday regarding the disbursal of funds under the Advocates’ Welfare Fund to eligible lawyers.

The bench directed the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to submit its views on framing guidelines/instructions on payment of remuneration to the junior lawyers.

Safeguarding the rights, privileges and interests of the advocates is one of the functions of the State Bar Council. In order to protect the livelihood of these young lawyers, the Bar Council should ensure that a minimum stipend is paid by the lawyers, who all are engaging the services of the young lawyers, the bench stressed.

It said that the matter of junior lawyers unable to survive on poor pay by the seniors was brought to the notice of the court. Extracting work without payment is exploitation directly in violation of the fundamental rights enshrined under the Constitution, the bench added.

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