Thiruvananthapuram

Don’t charge exorbitant fees, VS tells lawyers

The chairman of the Kerala Administrative Reforms Commission V.S. Achuthanandan has asked lawyers to exercise self-restraint in charging fees from clients than wait for the government to legislate in this regard.

“They should think for themselves if it is proper to charge exorbitant fee, even eating into the measly compensations received by accident victims,” Mr. Achuthanandan said referring to the Supreme Court’s recent observation in favour of legislation to regulate lawyers’ fee.

Inaugurating a remembrance meet on jurist V.R. Krishna Iyer, held by the Krishna Iyer Movement on his third death anniversary here on Saturday, Mr. Achuthanandan said when he had tried to bring a famous Supreme Court lawyer to argue his side in the solar case in the Kerala High Court, the fee demanded was ₹60 lakh plus another ₹20 lakh for incidental expenses.

This must end

“This practice must end,” the former Kerala Chief Minister said, adding he had raised a demand for regulation of lawyers’ fee at a meeting in the Bar Council Hall itself in the presence of the Chief Justice of India.

Mr. Achuthanandan said judging cases based on the fame and name of the lawyer and endless delays in disposing cases were tantamount to denying justice. “All concerned should ensure that these things do not happen,” he said.

'Iyer was a sentinel of justice'

Earlier, he said Krishna Iyer was a sentinel of justice who made his mark across the pillars of democracy. He stood on the people’s side and made pathbreaking interventions, speaking out even for the human rights of prisoners.

Senior Congress leader V.M. Sudheeran recalled the key judicial interventions of Krishna Iyer and said he was a fearless jurist and a legislator without parallel.

He wondered how the Supreme Court, which had pronounced historic judgments, recently took a U-turn in the bar license case, citing the distance regulation it brought on issuing bar license to hotels along the National Highways.

'Model minister'

Mr. Sudheeran called Krishna Iyer a ‘model minister.’ As a jurist, he brought the commoner close to judiciary.

“Going by the kind of debates that our Parliament and assemblies used to witness in the olden times, even gifted legislators are unable to demonstrate their talents these days. Adjournment of sessions is a daily affair and elected governments, both at the Centre and in Kerala are attempting to pass anti-people laws,” he said.

Name Kochi Cancer Centre after him

Earlier, critic M.K. Sanoo, Krishna Iyer’s long-term friend, demanded that the Kochi Cancer Centre be named after the late jurist, who had worked tirelessly for the initiative. All speakers echoed the demand.

Awards in the name of the jurist were presented to Reem Shamsudeen, a lecturer at Delhi University and visually challenged; differently abled arm wrestler Joby Mathew, who fought the odds to be world champion; and educationist K Vanaja.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 9:39:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/dont-charge-exorbitant-fees-vs-tells-lawyers/article21382941.ece

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