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The Advocates Association, Bangalore (AAB) has written to the Director General of Police (DGP), Karnataka requesting permission for advocates to commute to and from their respective offices, in view of the exemption granted to self-employed persons during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The AAB letter points out that the relaxed guidelines issued by the Central government mentioned that select additional activities will be allowed with effect from April 20. These activities include services carried out by "Self Employed Persons" such as electricians, IT repairs, plumbers, motor mechanics, carpenters.
AAB states that the list provided by the Centre is merely illustrative and not exhaustive. The Association has stated that advocates are self-employed, and therefore, fall within the category allowed to operate during the lockdown.
"It is very categorical that services provided by self employed persons are permitted to operate and as an example few services are stipulated. Examples are illustrative and never exhaustive. Advocates are self employed and therefore fall within the category which is allowed to operate."
AAB letter to Karnataka DGP
Owing to these reasons, AAB has urged the DGP to direct police personnel to permit the advocates to travel on showing their Bar Council-issued ID cards.
Earlier this week, President of the Delhi Bar Association, Advocate Sanjeev Nasiar wrote to the Delhi Chief Minister and the Commissioner of Police, Delhi to permit advocates to commute from their residence to office/chambers during the lockdown.
Senior Advocate Yatin Oza, President of the Gujarat High Court Advocates' Association (GHCAA), had also 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.
[Read the letter here]