The Tamil Nadu Advocate Association (TNAA) has sent a representation to government authorities, Supreme Court and High Court Chief Justices urging that judges and lawyers should be included in priority in the list of eligible to receive COVID19 vaccine in the first phase/ stage.
Chairman of TNAA Mr S Prabhakaran noted that the government has already prepared a tentative list of priority segments which would receive the vaccine in the first stage.
The TNAA stated that it was shocking that officials did not include lawyers in the priority segment even though the list included police personnel, health workers, aged persons, defence personnel and people with comorbidities.
In the statement, TNAA drew attention to the significance of courts and legal fraternity and how they help the society. According to them, non-inclusion of judges and lawyers in the priority segment was illegal and unfair and showed misplaced bureaucrats’ priorities.
Even though virtual courts have become common and online filing of cases has become mainstream, they are just stop-gap arrangements, and many cases are still gathering dust, TNAA remarked.
Demands put forth by TNAA
- The legal fraternity should be declared an essential service and should be included in the priority segment to get Covid19 vaccines.
- BCI should compile a list of lawyers and establish contact with them.
- The BCI, Central and State Governments should conduct vaccine camps for the legal fraternity.
- BCI should get doses of the vaccine to provide to the legal community.
The TNAA also warned that if the Central and State government did not include lawyers in the priority segment list, they would approach the appropriate judicial forum to get judicial directives and orders.