The Bar Council of Kerala has issued a letter to provide necessary help and support to advocates in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), including extending financial aid if any advocate or their family members are affected by Coronavirus.
"…the Bar Council of Kerala requests every member of the legal profession and also the Bar Associations in the state to inform the Council at the earliest, if any member or his/her immediate family member is affected by illness related to COVID-19, in which event, the Council can provide necessary help and support, including financial help to them. Please do not hesitate to contact us in the above address."
The Letter seeks to remind every advocate that as a responsible member of the noble profession, they have the societal duty to mitigate the devastating spread of COVID-19 by "meticulously following the directions issued by the Central and State Governments."
The Letter also takes into account that junior and lady advocates as well as those belonging to weaker sections will imminently face serious difficulties in the face of the official lockdown of the State. Therefore, an effort has been made to convey to the Central and State Government, and the Bar Council of India to provide financial assistance in order to mitigate serious and genuine adversities which may arise.
"The Council is conscious of the fact that junior lawyers, lady lawyers and weaker sections among the advocates need help in this background, especially since the courts are not functioning as usual and there could not be any effective Advocates-clients consultations. In effect, for advocates, their profession is virtually shut down. In the circumstances, Bar Council of Kerala has already brought to the notice of the Central and State Government and Bar Council of India the difficulties faced by advocates in general and in particular sought their financial assistance to help advocates, in serious and genuine adversities tide over situation."
By extending full support, the KBC Letter finally appeals to the lawyers' community, including Bar Associations, to come forward and provide help by addressing the needs of the clerks of Advocates as well as daily wage workers, who will be deprived of their basic necessities, including food and essential medicines.
"The Bar Council appeals all lawyers to come forward to help them (poorest in the society) in whatever possible ways by providing them necessary help. Bar Council of Kerala will always be with you in the forefront."