The Delhi High Court has asked the city and central governments to take a decision within six weeks on enactments of laws for welfare of clerks of lawyers. A bench headed by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma, which was hearing a petition by the Delhi High Court Bar Clerks Association seeking enforcement of several welfare measures, including provident fund, pensions and group insurance policies, took note of the statutes enacted by other State governments on the issue and observed that the “GNCTD should certainly make an endeavour to resolve” the matter.
“Let a decision be taken in the matter positively within six weeks from today by the Central Government as well as by the State Government at the highest level,” directed a bench, also comprising Justice Sanjeev Narula, last week. The counsel for the Centre said it was making all sincere efforts to ensure that some welfare schemes are enacted for Bar clerks. The Delhi government lawyer also said the matter is being looked into.
The petitioner association had moved the high court in 2018, claiming that several states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Odisha and Himachal Pradesh have already enacted a law to promote the welfare of clerks who have to depend on charity and donations of the advocates employing them. The petitioner was represented by senior advocate Kirti Uppal. In 2019, the high court said clerks of lawyers were part and parcel of the system involved in the dispensation of justice.
The association, which represents over 20,000 lawyers' clerks working in the various courts of the national capital, has contended in its plea that its members have been deprived of their fundamental rights, including right to medical benefits to a workman. The association has urged the court to direct the authorities to promote, safeguard and implement the clerks' fundamental rights to social security and welfare measures. The matter would be heard next on September 13.