ADVOCATE WELFARE FUND INFORMATION
Though the profession of Lawyers has a known recorded history of more than 300 years,
there was no scheme of pension, welfare fund or retirement benefits. Lawyers have
remained a most unorganized sector . Probably except individual LIC polices there
was no other plan savings for the family. Even otherwise not even 10% of lawyers
are found to have made wise investments during their good periods. It was so because
all along the lawyers came from traditional agricultural families and the professional
income was only additional. But the scenario has changed entirely for the last 50 years
where the lawyers are dependent on the profession only for their livelihood and family has
no other source to fall back.
It is only in 1980 onwards feeble efforts were undertaken to provide some assistance to
the family of a lawyer on his death. In the State of Uttar Pradesh, Advocates Welfare
Fund Act, 1974 was enacted w.e.f. 17.4.1974. It was followed by enactments in the
Kerala : 1.6.1991
In Karnataka, Karnataka Advocates Welfare Fund Act, 1983 ( Act 2/1985) was brought into
force w.e.f. 1.11.1986. It provided for Voluntary membership. Admission fee was Rs. 200/-.
Bihar : 5.11.1984
Karnataka : 1.11.1986
Andhrapradesh : 4.8.1987
Tamilnadu : 10.1.1990
Subscription of Rs. 50/- per annum for advocates below 15 years standing and Rs. 100/- per
annum for advocates above 15 years standing. One Welfare Fund stamp of the value of Rs. 2/-
was to be affixed on vakalth by such advocates who were members of the Welfare Fund. The
maximum amount payable on death / cessation of practice was Rs. 30,000/- in the case of a
member who has put in a practice of 30 years and above. The schedule to the Act provided
for payment in a decreasing order at the rate of Rs. 1,000/- for every completed year of
practice. Rules also provided for medical benefit of Rs. 2,500/- in case of serious ailments.
Major changes were made by way of amendment by Act 21/93 w.e.f. 2.4.1997 and Act 6/96 w.e.f. 2.4.1997.
Salient features of the Amendment are as follows :-
1. Welfare Fund amount payable is enhanced to Rs. 50,000/- from Rs. 30,000/-
irrespective of number of years of practice put in except for some categories
where entitlement was Rs. 1,000/- for each completed year of practice subject
to maximum of Rs. 50,000/-.
Salient features of Amendment under Act 18/2002 and Act 15/2005 are as follows :
2. Annual subscription deleted.
3. Stamp of the value of Rs. 5/- to be affixed on vakalath by all the
advocate whether they are the members to the fund or not. Thus in effect
membership is not optional.
4. Admission fee enhanced to Rs. 1,000/-. Members to the Fund under
earlier scheme were required to pay Rs. 800/- only for admission.
5. Medical benefit under the Rules was enhanced to Rs. 5,000/- from
Rs. 2,500/- per annum.
6. Senior Advocates to pay Rs. 2,500/- per annum.
7. Sec. 26A was introduced by the Government providing for Advocates Family
Welfare Fund. Government is required to contribute to this Fund and the
provision is subject to framing of Rules. Government has not framed Rules
and has not made contribution till this date. Thus the provisions of Sec.
26-A providing for separate Family Welfare Fund has not become operational.
Further major changes were made by amendment by Act 18/2002 w.e.f. 15.4.2005 and Act
15/2005 w.e.f. 1.6.2005.
1. Admission fee enhanced to Rs. 2,000/- and admission to Fund to be made within one month
Now, further proposal for enhancement of Welfare Fund three
lakhs on slab basis is under consideration.
2. Welfare Fund to be paid on death / cessation of practice enhanced to Rs. 1,50,000/- from
3. Stamps of the value of Rs. 10/- to be affixed on vakalath.
4. Stamp of the value of Rs. 5/- to be affixed on every interlocutory application filed
in any proceeding or case.
5. Subscription of Rs. 500/0 for every 5 years from the date of admission to fund – with a
6. Some category of members such as Advocates starting practice after retirement from service
or enrolled after the age of 60 years or admitted to Fund after the age of 40 years and advocates
seeking voluntary retirement not entitled for full amount of Rs. 1,50,000/- but will be entitled
for an amount calculated at the rate of Rs. 3,000/- for every completed year of practice subject
to maximum of Rs. 1,50,000/-.
It is also provided that such of the advocates who were member to the fund on payment of Rs. 200/-
under the voluntary scheme prior to 2.4.1997 will be paid on amount of Rs. 30,000/- on death /
cessation of practice though they have not become the regular members to the Fund after the
Amendment by Act 21/93 and Act 6/96 w.e.f. 2.4.1997.
7. Provisions pertaining to medical benefit of Rs. 5,000/- deleted. Different fresh scheme
regarding medical benefit is under consideration.
The Welfare Fund is a fund constituted by the Government under Section 3 of the Act. It is a
statutory Trust. The fund is managed by a Trustee Committee constituted under Sec. 4 of the Act.
Trustee committee consists of :
1. Chairman of the Bar Council – Ex-officio –Chairman
The Bar Council has no control over the Welfare Fund. The amount in the Welfare Fund is
disbursed on settlement of claim by orders of the Trustee Committee. All the amounts such
as Admission Fee, Stamp Sales etc., are directly credited to Welfare Fund Account.
2. Vice-Chairman of the Bar Council – Treasurer
3. Three members nominated by the Bar Council
4. Two members nominated by the Government
5. Advocate General
6. Law Secretary.
7. Secretary of the Bar Council – Ex-officio member