Topic: Supreme Court Middle Income Group Legal Aid Society

Middle Income Group Scheme
1. This scheme provide legal services to the middle income group citizens i.e. citizens whose gross income is not exceeding Rs.60,000/- p.m. or Rs. 7,50,000/-.

( a ) The Scheme is known as "SUPREME COURT MIDDLE INCOME GROUP LEGAL AID SCHEME". The scheme is self supporting and the initial capital of the Scheme shall be contributed by the first Executive Committee.

The schedule of fee and expenses as appended to the Scheme shall be in force and is liable to be amended by the Society from time to time.

The Office Bearers Of The Scheme - Under the Rules and Regulations of the Society, the Chief Justice of India shall nominate a sitting judge of the Supreme Court to be the President and the Attorney General of India shall be the Ex-Officio Vice President of the Society. Nine Members of the Executive Committee including the Secretary and the Treasurer shall be the members of the Executive Committee for a period of three years. On expiry of the said period, or at any time earlier as thought fit by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India can re-constitute the Executive Committee in consultation with the Hon’ble President. The Hon’ble Chief Justice of India in consultation with the President of the Society can nominate the Secretary and the Treasurer of the Society from amongst the members of the Executive Committee.

The office bearers of the Scheme shall meet at least once in two months or earlier if so deemed / expedient and necessary.

Governing Body : The names, occupation and designation of the members of the Governing Body to whom the management of the Society is entrusted as required under Section 2 of the Societies Registration Act, 1860, as applicable to the National Capital Territory of Delhi

2. The Scheme will be applicable for case intended to be filed in Supreme Court.

3. The rates of fee payable to an Advocate or to a Senior Advocate ( if engaged at the request of the litigant ) will be such as indicated in the Schedule appended to this Scheme as applicable from time to time.

4. There will be a panel of Advocates including Advocate-on-Record under the Scheme. While drawing up the panel care be taken to include one Advocate, but not exceeding two, knowing Regional Language in the territory of India in which the work is conducted in the Court below.

The panel Advocates shall given an undertaking in writing that they will abide by the terms and conditions of the Scheme upon assignment of a case under the Scheme.

5. Every person who desires to avail of the services of an Advocate empanelled under the Scheme will have to approach the Secretary of the Scheme by filing an application in the prescribed form annexed hereto along with the relevant documents.

6.    As soon as the papers are received they would be assigned to the Advocate-on-Record of the choice indicated by an applicant upon his request under the scheme. In case the learned Advocate after perusing them opines that this is not a fit case for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court, in that view of the matter the applicant will not be entitled to be benefit of the Scheme. Upon such as endorsement being made either upon the case papers or in any accompanying letter, the Supreme Court Middle Income Group Legal Aid Society shall return the papers forthwith to the applicant and deduct a sum of Rs.750/- only towards service charges. The balance amount of service charges and the amounts which may have been deposited by the applicant with the Committee towards appropriation as fee and all expenses in the conduct of the case will be refunded. If the learned Advocate-on-Record after examining the matter is satisfied that it is a fit case to be proceeded with, then the Middle Income Group Legal Aid Society will proceed to take the view that an applicant is entitled to legal aid. The view expressed by the Learned Advocate-on-Record will be final in so far as the eligibility of the applicant for obtaining the benefit of the Scheme is concerned.

7.    The applicant may indicate any 3 names both in relation to the Advocate-on-Record or the arguing Counsel or the Senior Counsel as the case may be in the order of preference from out of the panel maintained by Society. The Society would attempt to honour the choice indicated. However, the final right to assign the papers of the applicant under the Scheme to any Advocate-on-Record or the arguing Counsel or Senior Counsel will remain with the Supreme Court Middle Income Group Legal Aid Society.

8.    Any intending litigant desirous of availing the benefit of the Scheme shall have to fill up the form prescribed and accept all the terms and conditions contained therein. The proforma shall also contain a schedule of fee and expenses as application from time to time. A sum of Rs.500/- shall be payable to the Supreme Court Middle Income Group Legal Aid Society (SCMIGLAS) as service charges. The schedule shall indicate the fee payable for various items of work and shall also indicate the Court fees and the approximate expenses for preparation of the Court record. The applicant shall have to deposit the fee indicated by the Secretary, which will be in accordance with the schedule attached to the Scheme. It is the Secretary, who will register the case under the MIG Legal Aid Scheme and proceed to forward the papers to the Advocate-on-Record/Arguing Counsel/Senior Counsel on the panel for opinion.

In relation to the approximate expenses for preparation of the Court record, the Secretary will upon a perusal of the papers determine as to what would be the approximate amount necessary for the purpose of such preparation of the Court record, and in accordance with the schedule indicate the same to the applicant. If, however, for any reason, the amount which is due to the learned Advocate-on-Record under the scheme exceeds the amount indicated by the Secretary then the applicant will be duty bound to make good the difference upon the Secretary certifying it to be so under the Scheme.

9. That the Executive Committee of the Scheme will open a S.B. Account with the UCO Bank, Supreme Court Compound in the name of "Supreme Court Middle Income Group Legal Aid Society". The account will be operated by any three members of the Executive Committee authorised by the Committee and the signature of any two members shall be sufficient to operate the account.

10. All sums received under the scheme including grants in aid will be accounted for by a person to be nominated in that behalf and duty audited.

11. The amount so received under the Scheme will be used to defray all the expenses including the salaries and all expenses duly approved by the Executive Committee.

12. A Contingent Fund of the Scheme will be created to meet the miscellaneous expenditure in connection with the case under the Scheme by requiring the applicant under the Scheme to deposit upto the stage of admission, a sum of Rs.750/- in addition to the charges required to be deposited with the Society, out of this contingent fund, the fee of the auditor for auditing the account, printing of forms of application, vakalatnama, affidavit of facts, binding of registers for maintaining account etc., shall be made. Thus at the time of handling over the case papers, the applicant will have to make payment of the estimated fee, expenses that are indicated by the Secretary as well as a sum of Rs.750/-.

13. The amount indicated by the Secretary on the basis of the estimate details shall be deposited by the applicant in cash or by way of a Bank Draft. In the event of the learned Advocate taking the view that the case is not fit one for an appeal to the Supreme Court, then the entire amount after deduction Rs.750/- towards minimum service charges of the Committee shall be refunded to the applicant by way of cheque.

14. The initial expenses for printing of forms and other office expenses would be borne by initial corpus of the Scheme.

15. The pattern of payment of fee to the Advocates under the Scheme will be same as per the schedule as applicable from time to time.

15A. What documents are required from the litigants in approaching the Supreme Court.
The applicants are required to submit the applications forms to the MIG Society alongwith full documentations. For instance, if he / she seeks to file an appeal against the order of the High Court, he/ she is required to submit a certified copy of the order of the High Court, Petition copy filed by him/her in the High Court, copies of the Lower
Court judgements/order and other relevant documents. If these are in a language other than English, please try and send translated copies.

16. On the assigning of a case to an Advocate under the Scheme the intending litigant will be directed to deposit with the Society the fee and expenses as per schedule as assessed by the Secretary. The payment to the Advocate or the service charges payable to the Scheme as stated in the schedule shall be in cash or bank draft.

The Advocate-on-Record shall submit his bill on the basis of the amounts prescribed in the schedule with regard to printing ,Court fee and his appearance fee alongwith a copy of the filing memo in token of a proof of filing the Petition / Appeal for which the claim is made. The Advocate will inform the Society about the admission of any matter so that the client can be requested to pay the fee for processing the Appeal, without which information it will not be possible for the Committee to recover the amount from the client and pay to the Advocate on hearing of the case. The fee to the Advocate in regular matter shall be made on receipt of a bill from the Advocate at the time of the conclusion of the final hearing of the matter.

17. Once the case is assigned to an Advocate it is the responsibility of the Advocate to deal with the matter as he/she deems fit in the interest of the client and the Advocate is required to communicate directly with the litigant and the Society will not monitor assignment and final disposal of the matter. However, the Society will intercede upon the receipt of a complaint in writing.

18. After a complaint is received by the Society from the litigant and/ or the concerned Advocate against the litigant / Advocate then the Committee after enquiry may take such action as is deemed fit and necessary.

19. If the Advocate who is appointed under the Scheme is found negligent in the conduct of the case entrusted to him, then he will be required to return the brief together with the fee which may have been received by him from the applicant under the Scheme.

Further, the Society would not be responsible for the negligent conduct of the case but the entire responsibility will that be of the Advocate vis-a-vis the client. The name of the Advocate would however, be struck off from the panel prepared under the Scheme.