Bar council rules directing lawyers to explain the quantum and manner of charging fee for a particular case, would safeguard the interest of poor litigants from remote hilly areas, ruled the Uttarakhand high court, the Times of India reported.

Justice VK Bist attempted to bring in greater transparency and accountability of the bar to the litigants by directing the state bar council to frame such rules, and also to frame rules allowing lawyers to be paid only in forms that enable a receipt against the payment - such as cheque, bank draft or through online banking.

Justice Bist was hearing a criminal case in which the advocate alleged that the litigant had not paid his fees. He stated in his order:

It is pointed out that in some matters, exorbitant fee is being charged by the advocates. Even in the name of expenses, litigants are being charged heavily. Poor litigants, coming from the remote area of hill districts do not know anything about the high court. They have to accept whatever is told by their advocate.