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HC Notice to TN Govt on Plea to Allow Movement of Advocates During Lockdown

In Nation
June 26, 2020

The Madras High Court on Friday issued notice to the Tamil Nadu government on a petition seeking to permit the movement of advocates in and around the city to perform their official duties, during the present lock down or if any is announced in the future.

When the PIL by R Kalaiyarasi, advocate from Chennai, came up for hearing through video conference, a division bench of Justices R Subbiah and Krishnan Ramasamy issued notice to the government returnable by July 2. The petitioner submitted that she was practicing in the Madras High Court and subordinate courts in the city.

Though she was working with a law firm located in T-nagar here, she was residing in AGS colony, in the city outskirts. Referring to the present lock down announced by the state government in Chennai, Thiruvallur, Chengalput and Kancheepuram districts, she said though the G.O speaks about the functioning of the High Court and other courts, it failed to mention about the functioning of lawyers.

The petitioner claimed that she was prevented by the police from proceeding to her office. Though the functioning of High Court was only through video conference and the petitions have to be filed through e filing service, all facilities would not be made available at the residence.

Hence, lawyers are constrained to go to their offices for filing of cases through e filing, she pointed out. The Madras Bar Association and Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have written letters to the government to kindly permit advocates and registered clerks to travel from their residence to the office premises in their private vehicles. She further claimed that the movement of advocates was not restricted in Delhi. Hence, she prayed for a direction from the Court to the concerned authorities to permit the movement of advocates during the present lock down or on any dates of future lock down.