COVID: SC Bar Clerk's Association moves Apex Court seeking monthly compensation for members

New Delhi [India], June 30 (ANI): The Supreme Court Bar Clerk's Association has approached the apex court seeking directions to the Central government to pay a monthly amount of Rs 15,000 to each member of the association due to the hardships faced by them because of the halted normal functioning of the court in view of the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

The plea asserted that a number of members have not even received their basic salary in these months, and most of the clerks are on the verge of penury having absolutely "no money to even look after basic facilities, like health and education of children and even arranging food for their family members".

The association said that financial crunch is being faced by most of its members due to the nationwide lockdown, imposed since March 24, and requested the apex court to direct the government to disburse Rs 15,000 to each member with effect from June 2020 till the time normal functioning of the court is restored.

The petition said that the role of clerks is intrinsically linked to the work discharged by advocates and given that the income of a lawyer is generated through fresh filings, and since there have been very few filings in the last two months, members of the association have not been paid by their advocates as they too do not have the money.

The government has to come up with a scheme which is specifically aimed at ensuring the sustenance and survival of the Supreme Court clerks during uncertain times, the plea said.

"The Union had announced a 20 crore financial aid pack in the month of May, which covers small scale industries, migrant workers and other financially distressed groups of persons, however, no such scheme has been formulated for the members of the association and other similarly placed persons, in the profession of 'clerk', which is prevalent all over India. These members are an integral and indispensable part of our legal system and their survival must be given utmost importance," it added.

The petition said that there is a grave violation of Article 21 of the Constitution because of the action/ inaction of the Centre and State governments where no alternative has been provided to the persons like the members of the petitioner association. (ANI)