Plea before Delhi HC challenges criteria of min. Rs 6 lacs/annum professional income for Advocate's mediation training program

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The plea submits that through this impugned clause not only the petitioner but many of the advocates who are otherwise eligible have been made ineligible even to apply for the 40 hours training program on the concept and techniques of mediation.

A petition filed before the Delhi High Court has challenged the Delhi Mediation Centre's eligibility criteria that an Advocate will be considered for 40 hours training program on 'Concept and Techniques of Mediation', in which 75 advocates are to be admitted, on the condition that their monthly professional income is more than Rs. 6 lacs per annum.

The plea has been filed by Advocate Umesh Gupta through Advocates Ashok Agarwal and Kumar Utkarsh stating that the impugned action on part of the respondent Mediation Centre has deprived the petitioner even to apply for 40 hours training program on the "Concept and Techniques for Mediation" for 75 Advocates by laying income criteria which is arbitrary, illegal, unjust, unethical, discriminatory and violative of Articles 14, 21 and 39-A of the Constitution of India.

It submits that the concerned clause stipulates that requirement of net declared professional income should be more than Rs. 6 lacs per annum in the previous two financial years ending March 31, 2021, and March 31, 2022, thereby making the petitioner ineligible to even apply for 40 hours training program on the concept and techniques for mediation for 75 Advocates.

Additionally, it has been argued that the impugned clause (ii) of the Notice imposing the above mentioned criteria is a colonial provision and against the Constitution of India and contrary to the concept of an egalitarian society.

"It is pertinent to mention here that in financial years 2020-21 and 2021-22 whole world was facing financial hardships and majority of the legal fraternity members somehow survived themselves in the Covid-19 pandemic era," the plea added.

While referring to the mediation rules, the plea submits that nowhere in the Rules laid down in the Mediation and Conciliation Rules, 2004 is there any criteria that state that Mediators/Conciliators shall be appointed or impaneled on basis of net professional income.

Case Title: Umesh Gupta Vs. Registrar General Delhi High Court and Anr