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What Is At Stake For The Legal Fraternity In This Pandemic India?

The crisis that the world in general and our country is facing due to the rapid and seemingly uncontrollable spread of coronavirus is not only unprecedented in contemporary times but also extremely damaging on multiple fronts. Almost the whole world, barring certain exceptions, is in lock- down and only essential services are allowed to function and operate. We donít know how the world would look in the aftermath of COVID-19.

Certainly, many things would undergo a drastic transformation, from our eating habits to hygiene and lifestyle, however, how we embrace these changes - is the million-dollar question. It is an undisputed fact that sudden changes bring their own diversified challenges, which, in the present case, would surely be multi-faceted and far-reaching.

The situation in the Country is very much disturbing and not only the poor people is suffering more but middle class or so called higher class people is suffering.  We donít know how the world would look in the aftermath of COVID-19. Certainly, many things would undergo a drastic transformation, from our eating habits to hygiene and lifestyle, however, how we embrace these changes - is the million-dollar question. It is an undisputed fact that sudden changes bring their own diversified challenges.

Present COVID 19 situation forced the legal fraternity to take help of the technology and started teaching or conducting seminars, etc. on virtual platforms via zoom app also learned or still learning to file their cases on e- Platform or filling the cases. It will also analyse whether there is a need to switch over to this technological system discarding the traditional methods of teaching law in India or not but it is not as such an easy task because traditional methods of teaching and doing other legal tasks at courts very much known and deep rooted in the legal systemís execution manner.

It is high time for the management of legal fraternity upon this restructuring aspect which could balance the interests of all the lawyers .We have to keep in mind that every year thousands of law graduates join the profession and they have to be suitably placed amid this crisis. We need to generate this confidence in clients that like other sectors, the legal sector is also prepared to face the challenges. We have to further ensure that the quality of legal support, in the absence of huge revenue, is not compromised.

We have to scrutinize and identify the prospective cost cutting avenues. We the working advocates arenít subjected to unduly harsh measures. Above all, we have to take them into confidence. By just knowing that we the BCI(Bar Council of India) donít enough funds to meet the needs of the needy lawyers in this pandemic ,infact  need to analyse the situation deeply and keeping the lawyers dignity in mind make the efforts or proposals to help the needy lawyers.

Some bar councils have come up with a proposal to support young lawyers amid this crisis. Lest we forget that a large chunk of the legal fraternity consists of daily bread earners who are required to work continuously to generate sufficient income. In this lockdown, they are the ultimate sufferer in terms of their financial dependency.

Young  lawyers are the most hit population of this legal fraternity in this lockdown amid COVID 19, because they may have so many issues like of accommodation or maintaining their basic structure of living or finding difficulty in meeting their daily basic needs as well as it may possible they have just started their career in this legal field, earning day by day or monthly to meetup their basic ends of living.

The bar councils such as Delhi Bar Council have floated an idea last year whereby 5000 Rs per month would be provided as financial assistance for young lawyers. The idea, although appreciated, has its own challenges as Bar councils do not maintain the income cycle of the lawyers enrolled with it. Further, how such lawyers who require financial assistance would be identified presents its own difficulties under the conditions of the lockdown.

Although the idea has been publicised and senior members of the bar have been urged to contribute and reportedly, some senior members of the bar have contributed to such corpus, however, it is unclear as to how many lawyers have actually received the benefits of such assistance. Anyways the top most senior members of BCD now come up with the proposal to distribute the RASHAN KITS to the needy lawyers by providing their particulars like Ids, Enrolment  no., etc. And after they they are need to keep their selves standing in a queue to get their kit.

Good not bad but there must have more ideas or proposals be executed like  the senior and well to do members of bar should identify struggling lawyers in their own respective networks and should directly support them. This would also facilitate support under the lockdown and it would not require any paperwork formalities or like last year, can give financial assistance to the needy lawyers in their respective Bank Accounts so that they can manage that fund their best ways. The Bar Council of India has moved a letter petition before the Supreme Court, seeking appropriate directions to alleviate the sufferings of the legal fraternity from COVID 19.

The corpus and its scheme of implementation should be promptly and appropriately deliberated rather putting the lawyers dignity, their self respect at stake.

This may not be the end of the death row due to COVID 19 But the members of Bar Association need to be prepared for today and for tomorrow as well.

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