The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Monday (May 3) disposed of a plea seeking permission regarding the movement of the junior/associate advocates and regularly employed clerks with the advocate's offices during COVID-19 Lockdown.
The Bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Atul Sreedharan ordered so noting the Government's submission that concerned advocates, their associate advocates, and clerks may apply either online or offline, for necessary passes on the specified routes for visiting their office, through the Bar Association
The plea before the Court
Petitioner on Sunil Gupta, an elected member of the State Bar Council, Madhya Pradesh filed a writ petition praying for a direction to the respondents-authorities for modifying the orders issued under Section 144 of the Cr.P.C. for exempting and permitting the mobility and movement of the junior/associate advocates and regularly employed clerks with the advocate's offices without any obstructions within the district limits of at least three districts of the State of Madhya Pradesh viz. Jabalpur, Indore and Gwalior.
The counsel for the petitioner submitted that the members of the Bar especially at Bhopal and Benches at Jabalpur, Indore, and Gwalior were facing difficulty because the State Government had imposed lockdown/Corona curfew in the State till May 17.
It was argued that even if the Courts are functioning by virtual mode, the advocates have to attend their office and their juniors and clerks have also to come to assist them.
Further, it was stated that since the restriction had been placed on the movement of citizens everywhere, the Government authorities may be required to issue necessary passes for the advocates, their colleagues/juniors, and advocate clerks to attend their office.
State Government's submissions
The Government Advocate appearing for the State submitted that the concerned advocates, their associate advocates, and clerks may apply either online or offline, for necessary passes, through their Bar Associations, and thereafter, the concerned District Magistrate shall look into their grievances and do the needful.
Having regard to the statement made by Government Advocate, the Court disposed of the plea with liberty to the advocate(s) concerned to apply to the District Magistrates of Jabalpur, Indore, and Gwalior, through the respective Bar Associations, for passes of the advocates, their juniors and advocate's clerks to enable them to attend their offices during the ongoing lockdown/Corona curfew, for the specified routes, from their residence to office and vice versa, who shall do the needful in that regard as warranted in law.
The writ petition was disposed of accordingly.
Case title - Sunil Gupta vs. State of M.P. & others [W.P. No. 9185/2021]