ATTORNEYS BRACE FOR CASHLESS FUTURE
PBA to pass resolution to start accepting online transactions to aid hapless clients hit by cash crunch
The sudden cash crunch, thanks to the Centre’s announcement to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, has crippled the common man, who is compelled to stand in long queues at banks and ATMs. However, not many know that even lawyers, who charge fees for legal assistance in cash for a personal appearance in the courts or to offer counselling sessions and suggestions, are facing a crunch of change.
Lawyers claim that since the past one month, several clients are avoiding paying fees in cash and instead offering cheques to avail their services.
Amid this, a lawyer practising in the district and sessions court set an example for his colleagues by turning to mobile wallets to accept payments of his clients.
Criminal lawyer Wajed Khan Bidkar started accepting legal fee via Paytm — a digital mobile payments company — from Friday, after he downloaded the application. He claims to be the first lawyer in the city to have adopted the cashless system among the legal fraternity practising in the Shivajinagar court premises.
Inspired by Bidkar’s innovative idea, the Pune Bar Association (PBA) — the governing body of Pune’s lawyers — has decided to pass a resolution on Tuesday to create awareness among lawyers to start using mobile wallets.
Talking to Pune Mirror, advocate Bidkar shared, “Due to the sudden cash crunch, several clients offered to pay via cheques. However, as many of them and their relatives have a criminal record, it was a risk for me to accept their cheques. There is always a high possibility that the cheques would bounce. Therefore, accepting payments via Paytm seemed to be the best option.”
Bidkar continued, “Through mobile wallets, I receive the payment and the transferred amount immediately reflects into my account.”
Bidkar says the system has proven to be transparent and hassle-free. “Lawyers are known to accept black money so banks often reject our loan application. But, with the digital payments system, everything becomes transparent in my account. Every transaction reflects in the bank account details now. Unfortunately, even the amount of bail and penalty in the Motor Vehicles Court is accepted in cash. Therefore, the digital system has become the need of the hour so that transactions between lawyers and clients are not affected,” he informed.
When contacted, Y G Shinde, president of PBA, explained, “Every section of the society is badly hit due to the sudden cash crunch. But, Bidkar’s unique idea needs to be lauded. We want all the other lawyers to follow suit and start using Paytm. We are going to pass a resolution on Tuesday to congratulate advocate Bidkar and promote the use of digital payment system among the legal fraternity practising in Pune courts. The system will certainly add more credibility to lawyers.”