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Madhya Pradesh HC directs practicing lawyers to approach respective DMs, bar associations for Covid passes

A two-judge bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Atul Sreedharan disposed of a petition filed by Siddharth Singh through Advocate Ajay Gupta.

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The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Friday allowed practicing advocate located anywhere in any district headquarters of the State for visiting office from the residence and vice versa.

This application has been filed by Shri Ajay Gupta, Advocate on behalf of applicant-Siddharth Singh contended that the respondents/State authorities may be required to consider the applications of the advocates who are practicing lawyers at Bhopal, their associate advocates and their clerks to issue them passes to visit their office as they are required to appear not only before the High Court but also before different Courts and Tribunals located at Bhopal city, by virtual mode.

The Counsel has placed reliance on the order dated 3.5.2021 passed by the M.P. Court in W.P. No.9185/2021 ( Sunil Gupta Vs. State of M.P. and others).

Swapnil Ganguly, Dy. Advocate General submitted that High Court in the case of Sunil Gupta (supra) had required the advocate(s) to apply through the respective Bar Associations at Jabalpur, Indore and Gwalior because the said petition was filed for the benefit of the advocates practicing in the High Court at these places.

As regards the other advocates, liberty may be given to them to directly make an application to the District Magistrate concerned or any other authorised officer, along with ID proof for the purpose. Any such application for grant of passes to the advocates, their junior advocates and advocate’s clerks from their residence to office and vice versa, during the ongoing lockdown/Corona curfew for the specified routes, shall be considered in accordance with law, said the Councel.

The division bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Atul Sreedharan observed that in the case of Sunil Gupta (supra) the Court has passed the following direction :

“Having regard to the statement made by the learned Government Advocate, instead of keeping this writ petition pending, we dispose of the same with liberty to the advocate(s) concerned to apply to the District Magistrate of Jabalpur, Indore and Gwalior, through the respective Bar Associations, for passes of the advocates, their juniors and advocate’s clerks, to enable them to attend their offices during the ongoing lockdown/Corona curfew, for the specified routes, from their residence to office and vice versa, who shall do the needful in that regard as warranted in law.”

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In light of the above observation, the Court disposed of the petition with the direction that any practicing advocate located anywhere in any district headquarters of the State may apply for passes for himself or his associate/junior advocates or his clerks, for visiting office from the residence and vice versa, during the ongoing lockdown/Corona curfew, which shall be considered by the competent Authority in accordance with law, for doing needful in that regard as warranted in law.

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