The District Bar Association of Bhopal has moved the Madhya Pradesh High Court, challenging the MP Advocates Assistance (Natural Disaster and Unforeseen Circumstances) Scheme 2020, for being "irrational".
The scheme, drafted by the MP State Bar Council, is alleged to be drafted in an "improper manner" inasmuch as it does not lay down proper rules, criteria and guidelines for identification of eligible needy Advocates.
The plea drafted by Advocate Ankit Saxena further states that actually affected advocates have not been made entitled for financial assistance in the scheme and rather, only 5% advocates of total strength of the members of Bar Association have been made entitled to the benefits, in an arbitrary manner.
It is also pointed out that despite repeated requests, representations, objections and suggestions submitted to the State Bar Council by the Petitioner Association, the same have not been considered.
The plea raises the following "defects" in the Scheme notified by the State Bar Council:
- The Scheme does not describe the eligibility criteria for entitlement of the benefits
- Sub Clause No. 6 of Clause 4 speaks about the enquiry and satisfaction of the concerned Bar Association that too after due enquiry but what type of enquiry and satisfactions would be, is missing.
- Application Form Annexure 1 does not contain any clause so as to declare the material information about his status or to demonstrate the category as needy advocate.
- The total number of eligible members of any Bar Association is 5% of its total members, which is irrational and will be the great cause of internal fractions between the members and the elected office bearers and executive members of the Bar Association.
It is submitted that the Petitioner-Association is in receipt of over 700 applications however, it is facing difficulty in short listing 5% candidates, in the absence of any eligibility criteria.
"The office bearers of the District Bar Association, Bhopal are facing many problems including allegations of partiality…
…More that 700 forms have come and selection would be a lottery system or Toss system unless rules and criteria is not prescribed," the plea states.