On Monday, a plea was moved in the High Court of Delhi seeking directions to the Central Govt & the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to extend the moratorium period for repayment of term loan & credit cards for another twelve months or until the Coronavirus situation normalises.
The plea, filed by Sunil Kumar Tiwari through advocate Mukesh Kumar Singh, also sought to completely waiver the interest or charges at savings bank rate of interest for advocates during the moratorium period.
It also sought a direction to provide the financial assistance to advocates enrolled with the Bar Council of Delhi without discrimination as the onetime financial help of Rs 5,000 for indigent Lawyers, is not sufficient for their survival.
The petition submitted that due to global outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Govt in order to curb the rapid rise of infected patients within the country was constrained to announced national lockdown due to which court across the nation also got shut.
“Most of the advocates who come from a middle-class family & lower-middle-class family are suffering for their survival as they need to feed their family without financial assistance,” the plea said adding that many advocates were “paying huge EMI towards loans, credit cards & are residing in rented accommodation are paying rent”.
It said that the advocates are not in a position to pay their respective EMI of their loans & also unable to pay school fees, etc of their children. The schools are forcing them to pay their school fees on time which advocates are not able to pay as their own work is totally stopped, the plea said.
The plea further said that the Union of India has given relief to the industry by way of guaranteed free loans on minimal interest along with 12 months moratorium period on repayments.
The Govt has also given relief to labourers by giving them food, shelter, etc, but, the Indian Govt have failed to announce any financial relief for advocates & private company employees, who are mostly from the middle class & lower-middle-class families, it said.
The petition also mentioned that petitioner has also taken a home loan, car loan, personal loan & credit cards facility from various banks & presently, the petitioner being an advocate who is unemployed/without work is unable to pay his EMIs & other payments in time.
It is submitted that not only petitioner but most of the advocates are facing difficulties in repaying their EMIs & their other payments on time for which bankers are imposing more interest on their outstanding dues, which are creating immense burden upon the petitioner as well as other advocates, the petition said.