Written By- Pretika Tiwari
For lawyers under the age of 30 with less than three years of experience and an annual income of under one lakh rupees, the Government of Kerala has issued an order requiring a monthly stipend of 3,000 rupees. On June 26, the Government order was issued, which clarified that the annual income that is less than one lakh rupees is not applicable for Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes.
The GO was issued after taking into account the Kerala Advocates’ Stipend Rules, which stipulate that lawyer with less than three years of bar experience and an annual income that does not exceed one lakh may receive a stipend of up to 5,000 per month, as announced by the Kerala Bar Council in December 2021. Such stipend will be paid from the Kerala Advocates’ Welfare Fund by the Trustee Committee, which is entitled to do so under Section 9 of the Kerala Advocates’ Welfare Fund Act, 1980. The order was issued after the Trustee Committee had made some recommendations to the State Government after notifying the rules. The State Government issued an order in March 2018 authorizing the payment of 5,000 per month, to junior lawyers, as a stipend. But because the same had not been put into practice for more than three years, a lawyer filed a petition at the Kerala High Court on behalf of the complaints of young lawyers. This infuriated the High Court, which repeatedly reprimanded the Bar Council of Kerala for failing to carry out the ruling mentioned above.
The Chhattisgarh and Bombay High Courts are now dealing with PIL petitions requesting stipends for junior lawyers.