Lawyers should take the courts into confidence: Minister

Representational picThiruvananthapuram: Law Minister A. K. Balan said that in the Assembly on Thursday that it was regrettable that the advocates were clashing with the media instead of taking the courts into confidence if they had some grievances needing redress.

Piloting the Kerala Advocates’ Welfare Fund (Amendment) Bill, the Minister said that the conflict could not be resolved through executive orders. However, the government would continue to intervene to settle the issue.

Mr. M. Vincent (Congress) said urged that the lawyers who attack journalists should be excluded from the purview of the welfare fund.

He said that the advocates had not only attacked journalists but their clients also. People had started to wonder whether advocates were criminals.  If a case related to attack on advocates, they were not allowing other advocates to appear for the accused.

Later, the House referred the Bill to the Subject Committee. The Bill seeks to enhance the maximum amount a member of the Advocates’ Welfare Fund is entitled to receive on completion of 15 years of continuous membership from Rs. 5 lakhs to Rs. 10 lakhs and amount payable to members for every completed year of service from Rs. 14285 to Rs. 25000.

The Amendment also proposes to enhance the value of Welfare Fund Stamp that needs to be affixed on vakkalaths to Rs. 50 in case of High Court and Rs. 25 in case lower courts and tribunals respectively the proceeds of which are to be used for providing assistance to advocates in the event of hospitalisation and to Advocates Academy.

The Bill also seeks to increase the annual subscription payable by members. The subscription will now amount to Rs. 500 to Rs. 6000 depending on the seniority of the members.