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CJ-Take appropriate steps as per his wisdom and available expertise to safeguard health and safety

Chandigarh (Kritika) The Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana in its emergent meeting

held on 30.4.2021 has taken some very important steps with regard to the functioning of the Courts and safety of Advocates in Punjab, Haryana & Chandigarh due to the surge in Covid-19 cases. Kindly find enclosed the resolution passed which is reproduced below:-


Today an emergent meeting of Bar Council was held through virtual

mode (Zoom) to discuss the serious situation which has arisen due to the

alarming surge in Covid -19 pandemic cases, which was attended by the

members mentioned above.

Resolution No.1 - The Item No.1 of the agenda to discuss the

functioning of Courts in the State of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh due

to spread of Covid-19 was taken up and the House discussed the

prevailing precarious situation in which there is an acute shortage of

steroids, oxygen requirements, ventilation care etc and even hospitals are

flooded to full occupancy contributing to the heart-wrenching death toll.

The latest strain of Covid (B.1.617 variant of SARS-CoV-2) currently

identified as the ‘Indian strain or double-mutant strain’ having many

mutations is believed by experts to be the reason behind this huge surge.

Even the respective governments have imposed stricter curbs essentially

to break the chain. Latest, assembly of more than 20 persons is banned.

The issue was discussed at length with views expressed on all sides and it

was resolved to apprise Hon’ble The Chief Justice about the trauma being

faced by advocates and their families especially those who have

contracted this strain (or, other) and in some cases unfortunately lost

their lives. A view expressed, also endorsed by all was the serious loss of

livelihood and the difficulty faced due to semi-functional Courts by

advocates finding it difficult to support their families. The House was ad

idem in the thought, that after much conjoined efforts, Courts have

become functional and if any suspension/lockdown is imposed on Court

working again, it will be extremely difficult to re-gain the lost ground and

restart functionality. It was 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 existing medical

apparatus is already overburdened; the Council cannot be oblivious of the

current situation.

The Council thus resolved to immediately write to the Hon’ble Chief

Justice apprising him of the current situation as seen through our lens,

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 for 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, para-legal staff, Court employees and litigants.

Resolution No.2 - The Item No.2 of the Agenda was pertaining to the

feasibility of conducting election in view of the order of Election Tribunal,

Haryana in the matter of DBA, Faridabad was taken up w.r.t the binding

order of the Tribunal in Bar Association Faridabad, 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.

Resolution No.3 - The Item No.3 of the Agenda 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 was taken up and 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, also due to limited functioning of

Courts can be immediately compensated from this Fund. Sh Atul Nanda

Ld.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

Government of Punjab, on priority. The Council further authorized the

worthy 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.

Also, during the course of meeting, it was discussed and resolved

that for the sake of immediate relief of advocates suffering from Covid-

19, compensation as given earlier be disbursed on priority.

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 centres 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.

Finally the House decided to adjourn the meeting to re-convene

again on 15.05.2021 to take stock of the changed circumstances and the

progress made.

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