New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday sought response from the Centre and the states on a plea seeking framing of law to ensure social security measures, like payment of compensation in the event of death or disabilities, for advocates' clerks across the country.
"Issue notice," a bench comprising Chief Justice HL Dattu and Justice AK Sikri said the moment senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing "pro bono" (legal work for public good) for the Supreme Court Bar Clerks Association (SCBCA), started advancing his arguments.
SCBCA, which represents around 800 clerks working with apex court lawyers, has sought a direction to the Law Ministry, Bar Council of India and all the states and Union Territories to ensure social security measures for clerks.
"Issue a Writ of Mandamus or any other writ or direction declaring that the Article 21 of the Constitution of India guarantees rights to social security measures to advocates' clerks," the plea, filed through SCBCA Secretary R Purushothaman said.
It has also sought a direction asking the Centre to make a "framework legislation" to implement social security rights of advocates' clerks.
The plea also said the Advocates' Clerks Welfare Fund be established to help clerks in the event of disability or to help their families in case of deaths.
"The service conditions of advocates' clerks have not been regulated by any law in India. Both the Union of India and states have long overlooked and neglected the plight of advocates' clerks," it said.
"The social security measures inter alia are payment of compensation on death or disability and payment of pension," it said.
The plea said there was an "urgent need for implementation of social security measures" by making a law and the legislation may include "provisions for compensation to the dependents on premature death of advocates' clerk, right to compensation for disability, right to pension on retirement at the age of 65 years and right to medical benefits for serious ailments, etc."