Lawyers across India observed a strike in support of their demand for an allocation of Rs 5,000 crore in the national budget for the welfare of advocates. The BCI claimed that nearly 40,000 advocates participated in the protest in Delhi, and more than 20 lakh advocates participated in the country wide protest.
Manan Kumar Mishra, chairman of the Bar Council of India (BCI) said ‘the government should think about welfare of lawyers. Provide infrastructure. Lawyer can become judge but cannot head a tribunal. There isn’t any insurance for lawyers.’ The BCI in its statement said that the government has set up e-courts to fast track court cases, but omitted to set up an e-library for advocates, which makes the initiative of e-courts a failure. A lawyers delegation met the law minister and apprised him about its demands. Mr Mishra sated, ‘the law minister assured us that a committee will be set up to look into the welfare of the advocates. But, the government did not agree on allocating a corpus to meet lawyers demand. We are not happy with government’s response.’
March 2 Protest planned
The BCI said that if its demands are not met then it will again hold a protest on March 2 and then it will decide to take robust steps. According to the BCI, around 1.7 million lawyers across the country have expressed solidarity for the protest marches. They are seeking chamber facilities, accommodation with well-equipped libraries, e-libraries with internet facilities and other needs. The office bearers of the Bar Council of India, Bar Council of Delhi, Supreme Court Bar Association and Delhi High Court Bar Association, among others, participated in the protest march.