MUMBAI: With subordinate courts set to take a step towards regular functioning from Monday, the Esplanade CMM (Chief Metropolitan Magistrate) Bar Association has written to the chief metropolitan magistrate, expressing fears for the lives of lawyers due to the highly contagious Covid-19 pandemic.
Urging the court to continue hearing only urgent matters where life and liberty are in question, the association said even younger lawyers have died due to the disease.
Their seven-page representation made on Thursday said that it was difficult to maintain social distancing in courts due to the number of cases listed every day and the available infrastructure. The association also gave instances where advocates and magistrates from Esplanade and Borivli courts had been forced into home-quarantine after accused persons who had been brought to the court premises for remand hearings tested positive for Covid.
They have also cited practical difficulties caused by lack of public transport and said that even if they were to resume, many would still fear contracting the virus among the crowds.
“In case the court feels to go ahead with the decision of reopening of courts, then it is humbly requested that suitable directions be issued so that if advocates who may not appear due to any of the problems highlighted not be forced to attend by taking any coercive action or passing any adverse order either suo moto or at the instance of the other side’s advocate,” the letter has requested.
A lawyers association has urged the court to hear only urgent matters in the wake of the fact that even young lawyers have died of Covid-19.

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