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“Judicial system one of the sovereign functions”, says PIL in Delhi HC seeks inclusion of judicial fraternity members in first phase of COVID-19 vaccination

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A Public Interest Litigation has been filed in the Delhi High Court seeking inclusion of judges, judicial staff, advocates, and the members of the legal fraternity in the first phase of COVID-19 vaccination.

The petition filed by Advocate Amrendra Kumar Singh practicing in the Supreme Court and Delhi High Court through Advocate Anand Mishra states that

the judicial system- a sacrosanct limb in the Constitutional scheme, is second to none in rendering service to the people. Judges, members of the staff and lawyers who work the judicial system are frontline workers.

The petition states that, “The courts have not functioned to their full capacity due to the restrictions imposed in the pandemic. Restricted audience, absence of examination of witnesses, limited hearing of cases (bar classified urgent causes), malfunctioning of software programmes operating the video system and delays in hearing are leading to a crisis not only for the litigants and lawyers but also to many who draw their sustenance from the courts- small canteen workers, couriers, Photostat, shops, stationers etc. Many are being driven to penury and others seeking relief in long pending case.

the well being of Judiciary is essential for the citizen’s right to access justice and the government by excluding the legal fraternity in the first phase of vaccination programme is indirectly infringing the citizen’s fiindamental right to access justice,”

-it said.

The petition is filed in furtherance of the launch of the first phase of COVID-19 vaccine by the Center confined to the selected beneficiaries including medical professionals, sanitation workers, police, and security officials, and will extend to others in a phased manner.

Mr. Amrendra has submitted, “along with several other advocates amongst the legal fraternity has faced unprecedented times due to the outbreak of COVID 19 pandemic and is still dealing with the repercussions of the same.”

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“The legal services and functioning of judicial system is one of the sovereign functions of government and members of judicial system have right to be included in first phase of vaccination for proper functioning of the judicial system. The entire Rule of Law depends on functioning of courts and the litigants are suffering delays in delivery of justice in absence of normal functioning of courts,”

-plea further added.

-India Legal Bureau

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