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COVID-19: BCI writes to PM Modi, CMs seeking financial assistance for young lawyers

New Delhi: The Bar Council of India (BCI) on Tuesday sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Ministers of all states seeking financial assistance for young and financially stressed lawyers across the country in the wake of coronavirus.

"The BCI would like to make a fervent and urgent request to your good selves to kindly make a provision for providing a minimum subsistence allowance of Rs 20,000 per month for young and not financially well off advocates, who are staying and practicing in the country," BCI said in a letter addressed to the senior leaders.

The council said that the entire country is passing through difficult times owing to the menace of coronavirus and all the professions except those providing essential services have gone into lockdown.

"However, advocates and courts are still almost functioning albeit in a limited and restrictive mode where important matters are being heard with only advocates of both sides, besides the Judge, being present to argue," the BCI said.

"It is only a handful of 10 per cent advocates in the country who can be comfortably stated to be in a position to survive and subsist without any earning during this time of crisis," it added.
The BCI said that work and earning opportunities have ceased for lawyers, who it said earn and live by the day or earnings of the week.

"Many young, and not financially well off or needy advocates are finding it exceedingly difficult to make ends meet. It is a question of keeping themselves and their families alive, by providing them with basic food and taking care of there medicinal and health needs," the council said adding that the families of many advocates have come to the stage of starvation.

This comes as courts in several states have limited or restricted its functioning while lockdown and curfew have been imposed in several places across the country to prevent the spread of coronavirus. 

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