Delhi Govt to Purchase Insurance Policies under CM's Advocates Welfare Scheme
Numerous petitions were raised before the Delhi High Court with respect to life insurance policies and group medi-claim policies for lawyers under the Chief Minister's Advocates Welfare Scheme. The Scheme was initially announced in November and December, 2019. Quotations were submitted by the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and the New India Assurance Company Limited (NIAC) on the basis data submitted by the Bar Council of Delhi (BCD).
The order was passed by a Single Judge Bench Hon'ble Justice Prathiba M Singh in petitions concerning the implementation of the CM Advocates' Welfare Scheme. (Bar Council of Delhi vs Government of NCT of Delhi &Ors;GovindSwaroop vs GNCTD).The Court is also currently in consideration if the Welfare Scheme would include NCR-based advocates who are registered with the Bar Council of Delhi, however the Delhi Government apprehended that if the CM Welfare Scheme is extended to NCR advocates, the approved budgetary allocation could be exceeded.
The Court, however, clarified that the issue would be decided at the time of the final hearing and at that stage, the question of budgetary allocation would also be considered.
On 18th June, 2020, the Government of NCT of Delhi & Others were ordered to take all steps required for the immediate procurement of insurance policies for the 29,098 advocates whose names have been verified by the BCD. To this end, the Government of NCT of Delhi &Others were directed to issue the Notice Inviting Tenders ("NIT") seeking bids from insurance companies within one week.
As far as Delhi-based lawyers are concerned, a need was felt by this court for the policies so that the benefit of the Scheme could be availed of by these lawyers, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.Various bids were perused in the process and were submitted.
The meetings which were held between the Government and the Technical Evaluation Committee appointed by the Delhi Government, along with the representatives of BCD, the following two insurance companies were finalized for the purposes of issuing the policies.
First is LIC for the purpose of group (term) life-insurance and second insurance company is NIAC for the purpose of group medi-claim insurance.
Insofar as the group (term) life-insurance policies were concerned, the LIC's final quotation with respect to 28,774 lawyers was thus finalised at Rs.10,07,70,894/- and the group medi-claim insurance policies, Mr. Jitendra Mehndiratta (Deputy General Manager at the NIAC), agreed for a final rate of Rs. 10,500/- as per family premium payable, for a total of 29,077 lawyers.
However, this would be with the modification of one term of the policy i.e., co-payment would now be 25% instead of 20%.
The Delhi Government was then asked to proceed to purchase the insurance policies from LIC for 28,744 members and from NIAC for 29,077 lawyers who are also the members of the BCD and whose names are already verified.
The court asserted that the purchase of the policies shall be effected on or before 30th November, 2020. Since this is a group insurance policy, each lawyer(s) to whom this benefit is given would be issued a letter by the respective Insurance companies specifying that the group (term) life-insurance and group medi-claim insurance has been purchased for their benefit.
The matter would be further heard next on November 6, 2020.