Services of advocate necessary for life of community: Plea in Kerala High Court to classify work of lawyers as essential service amid COVID-19

A plea has been filed in the Kerala High Court seeking a direction to the authorities to include the services of advocates and their clerks under the definition of “essential services” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The petition filed by All India Association of Jurists and an advocate (petitioners) statd that lawyers play a key role in the administration of justice and facilitate access to justice, which is a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution.
The petitioners said that they are aggrieved by the inaction on the part of the State government on requests to include the services rendered by advocates under the ambit of essential services. Further,
The plea also highlighted the difficulties faced by lawyers in commuting from their homes to the courts.
“This problem is faced by thousands of Advocates who do not have their own vehicles and are not in bus zone or are required to change buses to reach Court which is also a problem as time constraint for legal profession are of outmost importance…The petitioners seeks a direction permitting the Advocates to travel by any means of transportation to reach their offices and court premises.”
In this regard, the petition cited a May 2020 Delhi High Court order by which services rendered by advocates were considered as essential services for the grant of e-passes to lawyers.

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