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No reason to change Centre's priority: Delhi HC on inclusion of legal fraternity in COVID-19 first vaccination drive

ANI | Updated: Feb 04, 2021 14:16 IST


New Delhi [India], February 4 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Thursday said the Government has its own priority in vaccination drive and it sees no reason to change the priority as decided by the Centre while hearing a petition seeking inclusion of judges, judicial staffs, advocates and the members of the legal fraternity in the first phase of COVID-19 vaccination.
Meanwhile, after noting the submission of senior lawyer Pradeep Rai representing the petitioner, The bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh asked the authorities to consider the petition as a representation.
Petitioner Amrender Singh, a practicing lawyer sought, the entire Rule of Law depends on the functioning of courts and the litigants are suffering delays in delivery of justice in absence of normal functioning of courts.
The plea states that several advocates amongst the legal fraternity has faced unprecedented times due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and is still dealing with the repercussions of the same.
The plea had alleged that the Government failed to include the legal fraternity in its first vaccination drive without having regard to the life, health and wellbeing of the Judges, practicing advocates and other staff of the legal fraternity.
It added that due to pandemic, the courts have not functioned to their full capacity and restricted audience, absence of examination of witnesses, limited hearing of cases, malfunctioning of software programmes operating the video system and delays in hearing are leading to a crisis not only for the litigants and lawyers but also to many who draw their sustenance from the courts- small canteen workers, couriers, photostat shops, stationers etc.
Many are being driven to penury and others seeking relief in the long-pending case, the plea said.
Plea seeks direction to extend the present vaccination programme to the legal fraternity to usher in normalcy in the working of the judicial system.
This will restore the faith of the people in the judiciary. Opening court halls and hearings in physical form are of seminal importance. It would be in the larger interests not only of the litigating public but also in the history of the administration. It will assuage a system that has been fractured by the pandemic.
The Supreme Court Bar Association on 18th January through a letter requested the Union Law Minister to extend the vaccination to Judges, members of the staff and lawyers who work in the judicial system as frontline workers, but no action has been taken till date to include the legal fraternity in present vaccination drive. (ANI)

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