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President of the Gujarat High Court Advocates' Association (GHCAA), Senior Advocate Yatin Oza has addressed a representation to Gujarat's Director General of Police, urging that instructions be issued to allow the movement of advocates during the COVID-19 lockdown that has now been extended until May 3.
The Union Home Affairs Ministry (MHA) today notified revised guidelines on what categories of activity would be exempted during the lockdown, including information regarding additional permitted activities that may be allowed in a phased manner from April 20.
Under the head of exempted commercial and private establishments, today's MHA order had also listed services provided by self-employed persons such as electricians, IT repairs, plumbers, motor mechanics and carpenters as services that may be allowed to operate in a phased manner from April 20 onwards.
In his letter to the DGP, Oza has highlighted that this list of self-employed persons is clearly illustrative and not exhaustive, and that the same would logically include advocates. Therefore, he has urged that the Police be instructed to allow lawyers to move between their homes and their offices upon due verification.
As stated in the representation,
For verification purposes, Oza has added in his letter, "As far as advocates practicing in the Gujarat High Court are concerned, I can say that the Bar Association (GHCAA), has issued an identity card to all the Registered Advocates, which may be considered as sufficient proof of an advocate practicing in the High Court. For other advocates practicing in other courts, the Bar Council of Gujarat has issued identity cards, which may be considered as a proof of a person practicing as an advocate."
[Read the Letter]