Pay junior lawyers with empathy, says Delhi HC to seniorstext_fields
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court asked senior lawyers to be mindful and empathetic when it comes to paying junior lawyers. The court said that the stipend should be enough to avoid financial stress and lead a dignified life.
"This court also appeals to seniors in this profession to ensure that the stipend that is paid to their juniors is enough for their juniors to evade the financial stress that accompanies this profession and allows them to lead a more dignified life," said a bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad.
The court was addressing a plea seeking to direct the Centre and the Bar Council of Delhi to give monthly assistance of Rs 5,000 to newly enrolled advocates in the first year of practice. The bench refused to entertain the petition.
However, the bench noted that young advocates are the future of the profession and it is for the bar councils to make provisions to extend financial assistance. "Other than making an earnest appeal to the Bar Council of Delhi and the Bar Council of India, this court cannot pass a writ of mandamus directing them to mandatorily provide stipends."
The bench further said that young professionals in all fields including medicine, chartered accountancy, architecture, and engineering face problems similar to those of young lawyers. The court added that job opportunities are scarce and competition is high. This makes the services of a person dispensable.
The petitioner stated that several state bar councils have made provisions for extending financial assistance to young advocates and the same is required in Delhi because the cost of living is high.
The plea also sought a direction for making rules for co-working space allotment so that an equal opportunity is created. This request was also not entertained. The court responded by saying every bar association or court has rules for their allotment which is usually done based on seniority. "There are advocates, with 10 to 15 years of standing at the Bar, who are unable to secure chambers for working." The bench also noted that some lawyers operate from their vehicles if they are fortunate enough to own one.