[COVID-19] Grant Rs 30 lakh compensation to families of deceased lawyers, treat lawyers as frontline workers: Bar body to CM BS Yediyurappa

The Advocates Association, Bangalore (AAB) recently wrote to the Chief Minister, BS Yediyurappa to consider treating advocates as front-line workers and to grant an ex-gratia compensation of Rs 30 lakh to the families of those advocates who have succumbed to the virus.
That apart, the following reliefs were sought by AAB on behalf of advocates:
• Carry out vaccination of advocates within AAB’s office premises by treating advocates as frontline workers;
• Authorise the grant of a monetary package to be disbursed to advocates facing financial distress;
• Provide free treatment for advocates, judges and the entire court staff in the event of hospitalisation due to the COVID-19 virus.
The letter also referred to a letter by the National Health Mission, Bangalore (NHM) dated May 20 to the Commissioner of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the Deputy Commissioners of all districts advising them to treat judicial officers as frontline workers, while advocates have been placed in the “preferential category.”
“Judiciary is a function of both the Judicial officers and the members of the Bar. Advocates are at a much higher risk and must be treated as frontline workers for the purposes of vaccination also,” the AAB stated.
The AAB further pointed out that about 170 advocates in Karnataka and 67 advocates in Bangalore have lost their lives to the virus.
“Many Advocates have lost their only source of income and are struggling to meet basic living expenses. The cost of Medical treatment is also exorbitant and vaccines are unavailable,” the letter stated.
Requesting to provide free treatment for the members of the Bar, Bench and the court staff, in all the hospitals, he urged the chief minister to release funds immediately to dispense for advocates who are in financial distress.
stated that with COVID-19 cases continuously on the rise and most courts closed, many advocates have lost their only source of income. “It is a well-known truth that advocates and their family members, who have been infected, have not received quality and timely treatment. As you may be aware, many advocates are in dire financial crisis and are not able to afford basic living expenses, and unable to afford medical expenses,” the president said in the letter.
The AAB thanked the State government for the initiatives it undertook for the benefit of all judicial officers and advocates in the State.

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