The Supreme Court Thursday refused to entertain a plea filed by a lawyers' body seeking direction to the Centre to waive interest on loan to its members and granting Rs 20 lakh credit to the association on account of financial problems being faced by advocates due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The top court asked the association to withdraw the plea and file an intervention application in another matter which is pending before the court on the same issue saying it does not want multiplicity of litigation in the case. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said the association was unregistered and it would be better to file the intervention application in other similar matter, which the court is hearing.
We don't want multiplicity of litigation on the same issue. You withdraw petition and apply for intervention, said the bench also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian. Advocate Pareena Swarup, appearing for the petitioner Supreme Court Arguing Counsel Association' said that it is a registered body and Chief Justice of India being head of the family must consider granting some relief. The Chief Justice laughingly said, Then listen to the head of the family and be good children. Apply for intervention application in other matters and we will allow it.
The bench then ordered, Counsel appearing for the petitioner-Association prays for withdrawal of this petition with liberty to file an application for intervention in the pending matters. Prayer is allowed. Accordingly, the writ petition is dismissed as withdrawn with the liberty aforesaid. On September 24, the top court had asked for the credentials of the lawyers' body and asked it to specify about the organization, its members and election of its office bearers.
We are not questioning your motive but we want to know about this association. You file an affidavit giving each and every detail and then we will look into it, it had said. The association in its plea filed through advocate Varinder Kumar Sharma said that it has members who have more than 10 years of experience in practising before the top court and they are the real brief holders of the cases.
They (members) have come from across the country and started practice, after purchasing an office and house. "They have taken loans for their offices and houses. In the present pandemic situation normal work of the courts are suspended for the last six months and there are no chances to start the work smoothly in the near future, the plea said.
It said that consequently members of the association are unable to pay the monthly instalments of the loan amount of their office and housing loan. That the cause of action arose to file the present petition, when members of the petitioner are facing financial difficulties in paying the loan and suffering a lot due to the COVID-19, the plea said. They sought the indulgence of the court in issuing directions to the Centre for relaxation in payment of monthly instalments as well as for grant of interest free loan up to Rs 20 lakh.