Bombay high court.
MUMBAI: Issue identity cards to advocates and their staff to travel by Mumbai’s local trains and public transport as permitted to those persons categorised as essential services, says a plea before the Bombay high court.
Filed by advocate Paritosh Tiwari, who resides in Kalwa, his petition states that his principal place of practice is various sessions and metropolitan magistrates courts in Mumbai and Thane.
“On one hand the petitioner and his family are facing starvation and on the other hand, all those clients who were being attended by the petitioner particularly clients facing criminal cases, though are made entitled to be released on bail as per the guidelines however, for want of advocate they are unable to avail of the said facilities.” Tiwari’s petition also states that he is getting regular threats from relatives of all such clients that if he does not attend to their matter they will prosecute him and complain to the Bar Council of Maharashtra.
Before a bench of Justices KK Tated and Abhay Ahuja, advocate Ashok Saraogi, representing Tiwari, argued that whether advocates fall under essential services has been decided by Delhi high court. But government pleader Priyabhushan Kakade countered that “it has not been decided.” He said the definition of essential services under the Essential Services Act, 1955 does not include lawyers.
The judges took note that a PIL on the same issue is pending and due for hearing on July 21. They also placed Tiwari’s petition for hearing on that day.