The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) has written to Union Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad with a request to include judges, judicial staff and members of the legal fraternity in the category of frontline workers so that appropriate remedial measures are taken to prioritize and extend Covid-19 vaccination programme to them.

The Association lauded the government for launching the world’s largest vaccination programme and said the “Make in India” movement has been a fantastic success.

It was further pointed out that presently the vaccination  programme is confined to defined frontline workers and will extend to others in a phased manner.

Further, the Association, pointing out the importance of judiciary and the inconveniences faced by the legal fraternity, said,

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 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 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 et al. Many are being deprived of their rights esp those in custody and others seeking relief in long pending cases.”

It has thus been requested to extend the present vaccination programme to all who work in the judicial system at the earliest to bring back normalcy in the functioning of the judicial system.

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