New Delhi, May 22 (PTI) After two months of lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic in the country, lawyers’ chambers at Saket District Courts complex would reopen in a phased manner from May 23 while ensuring complete adherence to the norms of social-distancing, according to a directive on Friday.
In a letter issued to lawyers' body, District Judges Neena Bansal Krishna and Poonam A Bamba said that advocates should be allowed to visit their chambers for collecting files and documents, but should leave the place as soon as possible.
The letter was written to Saket Bar Association President Karnail Singh, and its Secretary Dhir Singh Kasana, to issue advisory regarding the use of chambers ensuring strict compliance of the safeguards by all the members for their own safety and good health.
It also asked the association to request elderly members of the Bar to avoid coming to the courts and chambers till further order.
The conditions were issued considering the inputs given during a meeting convened by the District Judges with representatives of the association on May 19 through video conferencing to formulate the action plan for phased opening of lawyers'' chamber block.
Lawyers can visit their chambers from 10 am to 12:30 pm and access shall be permitted to one advocate per chamber and in case more than one person shares the chamber, co-sharer can access it while maintaining norms of social distancing, the letter suggested.
“No assistant or junior shall accompany the advocate to the chamber... It is advisable that chambers be visited by co-sharers at different timing by coordinating with each other over phone etc. Client and interns shall not be allowed in lawyer’s chamber block till further orders,” it said.
The letter further suggested that advocates should enter and exit only from the main entry gate of the chambers block, which should be supervised, regulated and monitored by advocates or volunteers of the Bar Association who would also monitor strict adherence to all prescribed norms of social distancing.
All other access points shall remain closed and a record of entry/exit to the chambers should be maintained, it said.
“Sanitizers and hand-held body temperature scanners for screening to be used at the entry point. Wearing of Face Masks would be mandatory for all the visitors/users. Canteen and other tea vendors shall remain closed till further orders. All common areas like Bar Rooms, Common Halls, Library and Crèche etc. shall remain closed till further orders. Only the toilets shall be opened,” the letter suggested.
It said lift facility should be provided only from fifth floor and above, except in case of extreme exigency or for the advocates, who are unable to climb stairs for any reason, with only two persons allowed to use it at a time.
It further suggested the Bar Association to ensure proper disposal of garbage in the lawyer’s block and cleanliness, sanitization and disinfection of the used premises. PTI URD UK SA