Pursuant to a letter addressed to Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde seeking access to the Supreme Court’s library, Bar Lounge, canteens, Supreme Court Registry and chambers by lawyers and clerks, the Supreme Court has allowed lawyers, advocates-on-record and their authorized clerks to have access to the above mentioned premises from February 8.
The letter by Senior Advocate Pradeep Rai on February 1 had stated,
“In view of the prevailing COVID 19 pandemic, it has been observed that during the last several months, advocates and members of the SCBA who do not have offices near Supreme Court or do not possess chambers in the Supreme Court Compound are facing an undue hardships and difficulty in rendering their effective assistance to the Hon’ble Court as the access to the above referred areas within the Supreme Court Compound have been denied.”
It has been decided that access to the registry to Advocates On Record/Authorised Advocates of AORs/Registered Clerks will be available from 08.02.2021 on the basis of 100 people per one-and-half hour in three slots i.e., 10.00 am to 11.30 am, 11.30 am to 1.00 pm and 2.30 pm to 04.00 pm.
Finally #ChiefJustice of India has agreed to open the lawyers chambers , canteens and libraries with access to lawyers and their clerks which is likely to happen from Monday. It’s a great news for all the friends #SupremeCourt pic.twitter.com/J7zeDMd9Id— Pradeep Rai (@pradeepraiindia) February 4, 2021
Access to libraries, bar room and ladies bar lounge will be allowed to limited members from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm. However, locker areas will have limited access.
The cafeteria for litigants will be opened as per existing and applicable Covid-19 protocols. The timings of the chamber blocks will be extended to 7.00 pm and the chamber blocks will remain open on all days including gazetted holidays.
In a conversation with India Legal, Rai expressed his gratitude to the Chief Justice for heeding to his request. He further acknowledged the support of Advocates Manoj K Mishra and Amrendra Kumar Singh towards the initiative.
-India Legal Bureau