Delhi High Court dismisses plea for mandating stipends to young advocates; Appeals to senior lawyers to pay adequately

Delhi High Court

Delhi High Court: In a PIL filed by Pankaj Kumar, a young advocate of 29 years of age, enrolled with Delhi Bar Council is seeking issuance of writ of mandamus to consider the financial difficulties faced by young lawyers and provide them with financial assistance of Rs.5000 during initial year of practice; a Division Bench of Satish Chandra Sharma and Subramonium Prasad, JJ., refused to entertain the instant Public Interest Litigation.

The Court, however, noted that unfortunately, young professionals in all fields, be it from Medicine, Chartered Accountancy, Architecture and Engineering etc., face problems that are similar to the ones being faced by young advocates.

The Court further noted that it is well settled that a writ can lie only for the enforcement of the right established by law and Article 21 cannot be stretched to encompass in itself a right of an Advocate to claim a monthly stipend from Bar Associations and it is for the Bar Councils to make provisions to provide some kind of financial assistance so that the young advocates, who are the future of this noble profession, are able to sustain themselves.

The Court requested Bar Council of Delhi and the Bar Council of India to make provisions for providing stipends to the young advocates, who have recently enrolled themselves in the profession, so that they can overcome the financial stress in the initial years of practice.

The Court further made an appeal to the senior lawyers to ensure that the stipend that is paid to their juniors is enough for their juniors to evade the financial stress that accompanies this profession, allows them to lead a more dignified life and be more mindful of the financial background of their juniors and employ a more empathetic approach towards the same, considering the virtuosity of this profession.

On a further direction sought by the petitioner regarding making rules for chamber/coworking space allotment by creating equal opportunity to the newly enrolled advocates, the Court observed that in view of the fact that there are rules for allotment of chambers, the plea of the Petitioner to provide for specific chambers only for junior advocates cannot be entertained.

The Court also appealed to the Bar Councils/ Associations to be more sensitive to the difficulties of the younger members of the Bar and to consider providing some specified space which can be utilized by the young advocates to further not only their career but also the future of this profession.

[Pankaj Kumar v. Bar Council of Delhi, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 3071, decided on 23-09-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

For petitioner: Mr. Srikant Prasad and Mr. Dewashish Viswakarma, Advocates.

For respondent: Mr. Anurag Ahluwalia, CGSC with Mr. Danish Faraz Khan, Advocate for R-3. Mr. Anuj Aggarwal, ASC for GNCTD with Ms. Ayushi Bansal and Mr. Sanyam Suri, Advocates for R-4.


*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this report together.

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