A local court has asked the Delhi Government to revise the fee structure of the amicus curiae, who is appointed to assist the court or to render service to those who cannot afford advocates in judicial proceedings.
Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Kamini Lau expressed surprise over the scenario, after being told that the fee structure of amicus curiae has not been revised since 2002.
Amici curiae are appointed in courts at state expenses, generally to represent the accused who are unable to hire advocate to put forth their defence or to assist in the judicial proceedings.
The court said it was necessary to suitably reward the counsel who are appointed as amicus curiae.
"Representation through a counsel is not a mere formality ... and it is necessary to ensure that in order to do justice, proper opportunity is given to the accused to defend himself," the court said.
The court suggested the Delhi Government to consider revising the pay structure of amicus curiae.
".....There should also be a suitable revision in the fee of Amicus Curiae as fixed by the Government of NCT of Delhi which has not been revised since the year 2002, and appears to have skipped their attention," the court said.
ASJ Lau also noted that the fee of the legal aid counsels has been recently enhanced by the Delhi Legal Service Authority (DLSA) while that of amicus curiae has been left untouched by the government.
The court made the observation after an amicus curiae sought its direction to quantify his fees as the same has not been revised for some time.
The court fixed Rs 8,000 for the lawyer while directing that its order should be forwarded to the chief secretary and others for necessary action.