3 May 2021 4:46 AM GMT
In view of the Surge in COVID Cases, the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana in its emergent meeting held on Friday (April 30) has decided to take some steps with regard to the functioning of the Courts and safety of Advocates in Punjab, Haryana & Chandigarh. Resolution No. 1 The Council acknowledged the "acute shortage of steroids, oxygen requirements, ventilation care...
In view of the Surge in COVID Cases, the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana in its emergent meeting held on Friday (April 30) has decided to take some steps with regard to the functioning of the Courts and safety of Advocates in Punjab, Haryana & Chandigarh.
The Council acknowledged the "acute shortage of steroids, oxygen requirements, ventilation care etc." and that "even hospitals are flooded to full occupancy contributing to the heart-wrenching death toll."
It was also observed that due to semi-functional Courts, the advocates are finding it difficult to support their families and that if any suspension/lockdown was imposed on Court working again, it would be extremely difficult to regain the lost ground and restart functionality.
It was also apprised to the House by Mr.Minderjeet Yadav, Chairman that more than 100 advocates (daily growing) have unfortunately died due to Covid-19 infection and countless frantically seeking hospital admissions and help in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh emphasizing that urgent steps need to be taken to ensure their safety, healthcare and security.
The House was also apprised of the media report stating that more than 100 Judicial Officers and 400+ employees/court staff have been tested positive of this lethal strain.
The Council thus resolved to immediately write to the Chief Justice apprising him of the current situation and request him to take appropriate steps as per his wisdom and available expertise to safeguard the health and safety of all advocates and their families.
The Council has further resolved not to insist on physical hearing of the cases and only most urgent cases be heard during this unprecedented situation at least for 15 days because this is the only way to break the transmission of Covid-19 to safeguard Hon'ble Judges, Officers, lawyers, paralegal staff, Court employees, and litigants.
It was resolved to request the Election Tribunal to consider the prevailing circumstances of pandemic and keep their order in abeyance of holding elections in the Bar, till the time the situation improves.
The Council has resolved to impress upon the respective governments of Punjab, Haryana, and U.T. Chandigarh to allocate Rs. 100 Crores to Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana, to provide financial help to the needy Advocates.
Thus, it was resolved to write to respective State Governments for release of 50 crores each to Bar Council of Punjab & Haryana, Chandigarh as has been done in the State of Delhi and Karnataka, so that the young and stricken Advocates who are suffering due to Covid-19,
Further, Atul Nanda, Advocate General, Punjab was requested to immediately release one crore from Trustee Committee (Punjab) as Covid Fund as given by Haryana and he graciously accepted to take up the matter with the Government of Punjab, on priority.
The Council further authorized the Chairman to meet, apprise and represent to H.E. The Governor of Punjab (also the Administrator of U.T Chandigarh) and both the Hon'ble Chief Ministers in this regard.
Furthermore, it was resolved that the Council will start a 24*7 helpline to provide ready coordination and logistics support to all advocates and their families who require any assistance due to Covid-19.
The Council will also contemplate on the possibility of converting the Law Bhawan Office at Chandigarh as a tertiary medical care center with primary medical centers connected to each district and sub-divisions (with ambulance facilities) exclusively for advocates and their families.
The Council also resolved to start an awareness campaign/movement amongst advocates and their families under the tagline 'Advocates - Break the Chain' focused on minimizing laxity and Covid-19 inappropriate behavior.
Click Here To Download Resolution Copy