Tamil Nadu

HC forms panel to provide insurance cover to 65,000 lawyers

Taking cognisance of the fact that many advocates have died due to COVID-19, the Madras High Court has constituted a committee to hold discussions with the State government and the insurance companies and come up with a group health insurance policy that could cover the medical expenses incurred by around 65,000 advocates, enrolled with the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry (BCTNP), and their family members.

Justices N. Kirubakaran and R. Pongiappan ordered the constitution of the committee while passing interim orders on a public interest litigation petition filed by activist-lawyer Sudha Ramalingam. The petitioner, a senior member of the Bar, had suggested that the government could be directed to provide insurance to the lawyers and their families after collecting money through the sale of insurance stamps.

Pointing out that advocates already stick multiple stamps towards advocate welfare and advocate clerks’ welfare on thousands of vakalats (authorisation of appearance given by clients to their lawyers) filed in the courts across the State every day, the litigant said the lawyers would be more than happy to purchase and stick one more stamp of a nominal denomination for providing insurance cover.

Panel members

Finding force in her submissions, the court decided to elicit suggestions from a committee and appointed Advocate General Vijay Narayan as its chairman so that it becomes easy for holding discussions with the State government, too, if necessary. Additional Advocate General P.H. Arvindh Pandian was appointed as its coordinator, and PIL petitioner Ms. Ramalingam, too, was inducted as one of its members.

The judges ordered that Additional Solicitor General R. Sankaranarayanan, insurance law expert N. Vijayaraghavan, National Insurance Company standing counsel S. Arunkumar, the company’s senior Divisional Manager P. Manoharan, BCTNP member M.R. Sivasubramaniam, BCTNP standing counsel C.K. Chandrasekharan and advocate S. Devika shall also be the members of the committee expected to suggest viable proposals to the court.

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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 6:47:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/hc-forms-panel-to-provide-insurance-cover-to-65000-lawyers/article34409659.ece

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