Chandigarh, July 28, 2020: More than 2000 women Lawyers from across the country have appealed to the Home Minister to come to the aid of financially drained advocates community due to Corona Pandemic and also to improve infrastructural facilities of the virtual courts.
It is for the first time in the history of our country that women advocates have stood up for the cause of the entire Advocates community. Deeply affected and saddened by the financial stress that the lawyer’s community is facing since March this year due to the restricted ( near closure) functioning of courts, the women advocates decided to speak out for the entire legal fraternity to seek help in the form of a loan on reasonable terms and conditions.
The demand has been supported by Surinder Verma, Chairman, Citizens Awareness Group (NGO), Mirror 365.com, and Chandigarh to Day News. Co. (Media Websites) of Chandigarh.
Advocate Poonam Thakur, Chairman of Chandigarh Zone of Akhil Bhartiya Adhivakta Parishad (ABAP) said the lawyer community has been facing financial stress since March due to restricted (near closure) functioning of the courts, thus women advocates have decided to speak out for the entire legal fraternity and seek help in the form of a loan on reasonable terms and conditions.
The women advocates launched a signature drive on the 21st of July and in a short spell of 40 hours or so, the number of responses on the representation crossed 2000. The data collected reveals that women advocates from across the country, with approximately 400 districts from 28 States and 8 Union Territories have stood up for the collective call and cause of all the advocates.
The signatories of there presentation were moved by the plight of several of their colleagues committing suicides or taking up odd jobs during this time. In the said representation the lady lawyers requested Home Minister to take steps to provide financial assistance to the Advocates under the Disaster Management Act, 2015 on reasonable terms and conditions, and also to improve infrastructural facilities of the virtual courts.
A copy of the said representation has also been sent to the Prime Minister’s Office, Law Minister, and Finance Minister. Supreme Court also took suo moto cognizance of the issue and asked the Union of India, Bar Council of India, and Registrar Generals of all the High Courts to respond.
It is known to all that even during the current process of ‘unlocking’, the courts are still functioning on a nominal basis only and it is the virtual courts that have become the order of the day. Most of the Advocates do not have proper infrastructure and electronic gadgets such as laptops, scanners, good wi-fi for better bandwidth, and even dedicated spaces in the Associations to participate in virtual hearings in virtual courts effectively. It is for this reason they are not able to assist in the justice delivery system effectively. If the representation moved by the women advocates is considered by the Ministry, then it will be of immense help to the entire advocates’ community in overcoming the financial hardships encountered during the current National Health Emergency and will also improve the functioning of virtual courts.