[COVID-19 Lockdown] Supreme Court notifies guidelines for those entering Lawyers Chambers

[COVID-19 Lockdown] Supreme Court notifies guidelines for those entering Lawyers Chambers

The Supreme Court has issued guidelines, keeping in view the growing number of COVID-19 cases.

Shruti Mahajan

The Supreme Court has issued guidelines for those entering lawyers' chambers in the Supreme Court premises after taking into account the suggestions made by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and the Supreme Court Adovcate-on-Record Association (SCAORA).

Almost two months after the physical entry inside the Supreme Court premises was restricted, it was recently decided that lawyers may be allowed access to their chambers in the Court premises to access and collect their essential documents and files.

After conveying clarifications to concerned lawyers with respect to the Registry's letter of May 17 on the opening of the lawyers' chambers, the Supreme Court has now issued guidelines for the entrants, keeping in view the growing number of COVID-19 cases.

A time frame has been put in place for allowing entry in the chambers for accessing files and other belongings, the circular states. The chambers would be accessible between 10AM and 4PM on weekdays and between 10AM and 2PM on Saturdays.

The chambers will remain closed on holidays and Sundays for deep cleaning and sanitisation.

Entry is permitted to members of the Bar and their staff only after production of their proximity cards. The entrants would have to go through thermal screening and fill out self-declaration forms as well as insert a daily register entry to facilitate contact tracing.

Those entrants who are found to be symptomatic or are found to be not wearing masks will be denied entry, the circular says.

The Court has said that the SCBA and the SCAORA can jointly prepare a detailed Odd-Even plan based on chamber numbers for Monday through Saturday to ensure that there is no overcrowding and so that the norms of social distancing can be maintained.

Additionally, the Court has said that every chamber block would be open only from one entry point which would be fitted with a hand sanitisation machine to be manned by SCBA and SCAORA personnel along with the Supreme Court staff.

The use of lift for coming downstairs will not be permitted, the circular says, adding that the use of air conditioning in chambers may raise health concerns.

Read Circular:

SC circular on Lawyers Chambers.pdf
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