Several lawyers, hopeful of getting themselves covered under the recently announced Chief Minister Advocates’ Welfare Scheme, have complained that they have not been able to register online as the official website is not working properly.
The Delhi government, under the Chief Minister welfare scheme for advocates, allocated a budget of ₹50 crore which will give mediclaim policy, group insurance policy, e-library and creche facilities. It set up a customised online application site with OTP facility, for practising advocates who are enrolled with the Bar Council of Delhi and are also in the voters’ list of Delhi.
The Delhi government opened the online registration portal on March 21 and put a deadline for closing it on March 31, 2020.
Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) chairman K.C. Mittal said, “We have received complaints from various lawyers that the website is not working properly, in as much as, at times, it is found that, the server is down or OTP is not sent from the website”.
Unique ID number
He additionally said the unique ID number which should be generated after successful submission, is not generated, resulting in a lot of members not being able to register.
Advocate Rahul Mehra, a member of Armed Forces Tribunal (Principal Bench) Bar Association, said he has been trying to apply online since March 21, but with no success. Mr. Mehra, who has been practising in various courts in Delhi since 2008, said he had brought the issue to the notice of the authorities concerned and government departments.
“I tried applying through my system at home, and also from other location, but failed every time,” Mr. Mehra said, adding that, “With the COVID-19 pandemic closing down most institutions, the March 31 deadline for online registration should be extended”.
Advocate Kirti, who has been practising at various courts in Delhi for the past 10 years, said she tried registering online on Tuesday. “I went through all the process, even added the OTP, but was unable to successfully register on the website,” she said.
With several other lawyers experiencing similar difficulties, Mr. Mittal has written a letter to the Principal Secretary, Law and Justice, Delhi government apprising him of the issues with online registration. Mr. Mittal has requested the Law Secretary to “ensure that there is no difficulty in the online registration of lawyers”.