The prolonged lockdown and closure of Courts and Tribunals has had a debilitating impact on lawyers. They have been driven to penury and are forced to travel with migrant labour in a desperate bid to get to their hometowns.
This is revealed in a report in Mumbai Mirror.
The report states that there has been an exodus of thousands of lawyers.
While some walked and hitch-hiked back to their hometowns in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat, many of them took Shramik trains, even accepting 35 kg ration and Rs 1,000 cash on arrival in their states.
RM Mishra, the President of Andheri Bar Association, revealed that around 80 per cent of 2,000 lawyers in the Andheri magistrate court are from other states, and nearly 30 per cent of them have left.
A lawyer named Amit Mishra, practising in the Borivali court, left for his hometown in UP early last month. He hired a car for his family while two of his friends walked till Nashik and then hitchhiked.
“We were told everyone would get Rs 2,000 from the government and that the associations were trying to get us financial aid but no money ever came,” Mishra lamented.
Another lawyer named Santosh Pandey, a resident of Mira Road, was also in a sorry state.
“I drove all the way back for 36 hours. I do not see the courts fully opening anytime soon,” Pandey was quoted as saying.
Advocate Imrran Farooqui from the Bandra Bar Association pointed out that 40 lawyers from one single extended family have left for their village in UP. He said there are at least 100 more who have left.
“While asking for votes everyone comes forward, but where were they when lawyers needed them?” Farooqui demanded to know.
Respected Sir ,
In the pandemic situation of covid -19 in india ,
There is no such relief of the advocate faternity – more than 2 months advocates are in the financial hardship and we are looking at you for the hope and relief of the Advocates in this situation.
— Sumit goswami (@Sumitgo38785326) May 27, 2020
Thankfully, the Bar Association has come to the rescue of the beleaguered lawyers.
Bar president Subhash Ghatge said they were able to provide rations to around 750 lawyers in Mumbai.
Similarly, The Bombay Bar Association has given Rs 5,000 cash to 160 lawyers each and contributed Rs 50,000 towards the medical treatment of one lawyer and Rs 25,000 each for two others.
Lawyers in other States are also getting some relief.
The Government of Telangana credited 10,000 rupees (COVID Relief Aid) into the bank accounts of Advocates of Telangana State.
Thanks @KTRTRS @TelanganaCMO @VSrinivasGoud @IKReddyAllola for helping Telangana Advocates in the toughest of times, my sincere thanks, gratitude to Government of Telangana for crediting 10,000 rupees (COVID Relief Aid) into the bank accounts of Advocates of Telangana State. pic.twitter.com/1Pp0f4OHGL
— KrishnaVeni Advocate (@Adv_KrishnaVeni) May 30, 2020
The J&K Government has offered generous financial relief of Rs 1 crore to the Advocates fraternity across J&K.
COVID-19 Lockdown : J&K Government extends financial relief of Rs 1 crore to Advocates fraternity across J&Khttps://t.co/dH0yQA5Qpb
— ROUF PAMPORI (@roufaminnews5) April 22, 2020
THANK YOU VERY MUCH DEAR
Mr.S.Prabhakaran Sir, Co Chairman of BARCOUNCIL OF INDIA, contributed two times each one lakh totally TWO Lakhs towards Covid-19 Relief Fund for Advocates through Our BarCouncil of TamilNadu and Puducherry.
— SHANTHAKUMARI. S (@SHANTHAKUMARIS7) April 15, 2020