Two Madras HC lawyers donate Re 1 for lockdown relief, bar council to give them ‘certificate of appreciation’ | Chennai News
They ‘donated’ Re1(Rupee One Only) to the lockdown relief fund of the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Two other advocates have ‘donated’ Rs 10 (Rupees 10 only) each.
These princely sums were transferred to the council’s bank account through e-transfer mode.
The council, which has mobilised more than Rs60 lakh so far, has now decided to acknowledge these ‘donations’ and issue a certificate to these ‘star donors’ appreciating their ‘spirit of giving.’ It has already published the ‘donations’ along with the bank transfer details on its website.
Vice-chairman of the Bar Council of India (BCI) and senior advocate S Prabakaran said details of all the four lawyers have been traced, and they would be given the certificate in appreciation of their attitude towards the lockdown relief fund.
Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry started the fund collection drive in response to calls from different sections of the legal fraternity highlighting the pitiable economic condition of hundreds of lawyers across the state due to the lockdown. Justice S M Subramaniam kicked off the campaign by donating Rs2.5 lakh to the fund. Several top lawyers have donated up to Rs5 lakh each.
Of the 216 donors, two have given Re 1 each and two others have donated Rs10 each, Prabakaran said, adding that while one person has transferred Rs101, another two people have sent Rs200 each. Others have donated ₹500 and more.
It’s like making a mockery of the exercise, said R C Paul Kanagaraj, Bar Council member.
It’s like making a mockery of efforts taken: Bar member
The former president of Madras High Court Advocates Association (MHAA), who first requested the council to float a cash relief scheme for indigent lawyers and then filed a writ petition in the Madras high court, condemned the Re1 ‘donation’.
“Donation is a voluntary act. One may or may not agree with Good Samaritan initiatives. One may or may not make any contribution. But it is not fair to humiliate the very initiative by donating paltry sums and making a mockery of the exercise,” Paul Kanagaraj said.
Since the lockdown came into force, several representations were given to government and the bar council by lawyers, and cases, including one filed by senior advocate A E Chelliah, demanded relief ranging from Rs10,000 to Rs20,000. Bowing to the pressure, the council floated the fund with Justice Subramaniam’s contribution.
April 20, 2020