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
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