When will the hearing of cases start physically? This has been the question of the hour for the young, not so famous & somewhat successful lawyers whose income has tumbled as the lockdown throttled the Rs 20,000 crore of legal practice industry. About 20 lakh lawyers are mostly reliant on open court adjudication of cases.
With the apex court, high courts and trial court s going on with the virtual hearing of a restricted no. of cases with video – conferencing, most advocates are finding it hard to get cases listed before the judges and find clients. In disparity, the pedigreed and successful lawyers are raking over the moolah.
Famous and successful senior lawyers are in demand as they can contend vital cases every day before the Supreme Court as well as the high court from their easy access to their homes or offices. In normal times, if they had to contend a case in the high court, they were supposed to be there physically, giving the responsibility of their work in apex court to somebody else.
The chairman for the Bar Council of India, Manan Kumar Mishra said, “Conducting virtual courts for a small period of time with the help of video conferencing during the time of urgency was not escapable. But physical hearing in open courts should start really soon. Majority of advocates, especially in small cities are on the breadline. The courts can’t be kept shut any more. Maximum no. of lawyers does not have any source of earning or work.
When it was questioned whether the BCI has a reliant plan to support the needy lawyers, the chairman said, “Neither the BCI nor the state bar councils have any sort of resources to commence any scheme for the advocates. BCI has been requesting the central and state government to help out the needy advocates financially".