A Guangzhou-based lawyer has joined a chorus of calls for a review of the Supreme People's Court's controversial guidelines that discriminate between rural and urban residents in compensation payouts for death and injury. Guangzhou lawyer Zhou Yuzhong sent a letter to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on Monday, saying a 2003 interpretation violated the constitution and the civil code. 'Equality is the basic principle of modern legislation and both the constitution and law give utmost protection to equality among all citizens,' Mr Zhou said in the letter, posted on his blog website. The call came as several NPC deputies, members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and academics called for the abolition of the discriminatory guidelines. Under the 2003 interpretation, which altered 1991 compensation guidelines for mainland courts, rural residents of Guangdong province, for example, could be paid up to 93,810 yuan last year for personal injuries or death, while city dwellers were entitled to up to 295,398.8 yuan for comparable suffering. Before 2003, compensation standards were roughly equal but lower overall. Since 2003, rural residents have been worse off, with maximum payouts for injuries cut more than 60 per cent from 236,197 yuan to 93,810 yuan. Mainlanders are classed as urban and rural residents based on their hukou, or registered residence, and Mr Zhou said calculating payouts based on the hukou system distorted the law and led to moral decline. 'Rural residents might be singled out for greater bodily harm because the consequences are much lighter,' he said. Beijing Institute of Technology professor Hu Xingdou , who also appealed to the highest court to unify compensation legislation in March last year, blamed the hukou system for exacerbating the urban-rural divide and discrimination.