Coimbatore: Madras High Court Chief Justice M Yusuf Eqbal on Sunday hit out at lawyers who insisted on taking as legal fees a percentage of the compensation won by accident victims and their families. It is a normal practice for advocates to take a 20 to 30 per cent cut in the compensation awarded to accident victims, whose case they represent in the court.
Seeking to draw a fine line of distinction between Motor Claims Tribunal Original Petition (MCOP) cases and other litigations, Justice Eqbal said, “It is a great sin to the legal profession that lawyers are taking a percentage of the compensation awarded to accident victims. In MCOP cases, legal ethics should come into play. When family members of an accident victim seek legal help, lawyers must take it as a God-given opportunity to serve the people.”
The Chief Justice was in Coimbatore to inaugurate exclusive special courts to deal with MCOP and land grabbing cases at the combined court complex.
“Lawyers should render free service to the poor and downtrodden. But a trend has developed, where a person approaches a lawyer to deal with an MCOP case, the first question the advocate asks him is how much percentage he would get from the compensation amount. Any lawyer who does this and prays to God, his/her prayers will vanish in thin air,” he said. According to him, lawyers must instead explore ways to ensure that the accident victim is adequately compensated.