Legal Gallery: SC asks details of lawyers seeking interest-free loan

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday sought credentials of the Supreme Court Arguing Counsel Association and its members on affidavit on its petition seeking interest-free loans to the lawyers hit by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Heading a 3-judge Bench, Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde wanted to know details of the association. "We want to know about the association. Is it a registered association? Is it a one-man show who is running it. We have to know all this because yours is an Article 32 petition," he said.

The petition seeks direction to the Centre to form a scheme to disburse interest-free loans up to Rs 20 lakh to the lawyers. The counsel appearing for the association assured the Bench that all its members are from the Bar.

"Our members are the regular practitioners of the Supreme Court, having more than 10 years of experience. The member of this association is the real face of this institution, who argues before this Court. They are coming from across the country and started practice, after purchasing their offices and houses in Delhi. They have taken loan for offices and houses and unable to repay it since in the present pandemic situation, normal work of the courts is suspended for the last six months," the counsel said.

Noting that there are no prospects of the Courts starting the normal work, the petition says the practising lawyers of the Supreme Court are unable to pay monthly instalment of loan taken for offices as also housing loans.

It wants the court to give direction to the banks to give relaxation in payment of the monthly instalments and order the Centre and RBI to give interest-free loan up to Rs 20 lakh.

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