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Role of Lawyers becomes crucial amidst pandemic says Gautam Khaitan

As the unlocking begins in phases, normalcy has started to resume in the lives of Indians. However, due to the lack of coordination amongst the authorities and vagueness in the instructions have made it difficult for the people to follow the guidelines. Consequently, you can frequently find articles and columns in the newspapers referring to litigations filed by lawyers in various courts across the nation against such inefficiencies. Managing Partner of O.P. Khaitan & Co. and eminent lawyer, Gautam Khaitan, says that the responsibilities of lawyers amidst such a time full of hassle, stress, and anxiety becomes crucial.

Helping people in dismay
Despite the steep fall in the filings of the number of litigations in the courts across the nation, the judiciary and the whole legal system per se has been playing an important role in making sure no one suffers amid the pandemic, says Gautam Khaitan. lawyers have played an essential role in doing what they are best at helping people in getting justice, he added.

Since the unlocking has begum, it has been observed that the ambiguous executive orders have left people in dismay. For instance, the absence of coordination between the authorities in Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, and Faridabad left the concerned people in distress. Hence, litigation by a lawyer has resulted in Supreme Court directing the authorities to coordinate for easing the movement in the NCR within few days.

Helping the migrants
The pain of migrant labourers is immense as they got hard hit by both the coronavirus and the lockdown. The stories of how these helpless workers walked hundreds of kilometres, in some cases even thousands of kilometres have shaken us to our souls. As per several news reports, lawyers appeared on the frontline alongside doctors and security personals in the battle against the pandemic to help their fellow countrymen the migrant labourers.

Several lawyers across the country came forward to help migrants moving back to their native places during the lockdown, says Khaitan. Along with providing material assistance to them, they ensured that none gets harassed at the hands of the authorities, he added.

Arbitrating contractual disputes
In a recent report by the Covid-19 task force, the nationwide lockdown has been successful in slowing down the spread of the virus as authorities prepare the necessary infrastructure to contain Covid-19. However, the impact of the lockdown on India Inc is far more adverse than the coronavirus itself.

A distinguished corporate lawyer, Gautam Khaitan, says, Many cases of contractual disputes have emerged, especially the ones invoking force majeure (FM) have appeared. From B2B to Company and employee disputes, the lockdown has serious implications on the private sector. Lawyers have made the process easier by the process of arbitration so that nobody could feel stressed at the time of the pandemic. You know how long the formal processes are.

Long way to go
The spread of coronavirus has changed the lives of humans forever. Along with the individuals, countries, health sector, international organisations and private industry amongst others, all were caught unprepared as the deadly virus spread rapidly. However, our doctors, security personals, and other professionals engaged in essential services made the whole a lot easier.

In the process of public service, as Gautam Khaitan has indicated, lawyers have also contributed a lot, from moving litigations in the courts to arbitrating for the individuals and the firms, they ensured that nobody gets stressed and harassed in their best capacities. As experts believe, we will have to learn to live with coronavirus, and hence, the fight is not over. We will have to continue to infuse our extensive efforts in the service of the nation in our respective capacities as we strive to contain the virus.

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