Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Advocates’ Welfare Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was passed in the Odisha Legislative Assembly on Tuesday paving the way for supporting the needy lawyers hit by the Covid-19 pandemic disruption.

As the funds maintained under the provisions of the Odisha Advocates’ Welfare Fund Act, 1987 are meant for granting death and retirement benefits, the Act was required to be amended to enable the Odisha Advocates’ Welfare Fund Trust Committee to utilize the fund for providing financial assistance to the needy advocates in the event of disruption of legal practice occasioned by any natural calamity, pandemic and similar situation affecting legal profession at large.

With Amendment Bill getting the approval of the governor will now enable the Trust Committee to support the advocates financially during the period of pandemic and natural calamity.

Owing to outbreal of Covid-19 Pandemic and declaration of complete shutdown/lockdown by the government an unprecedented situation has arisen affecting the livelihood of citizens in general and the advocates in particular due to limited functioning of courts.