Worried about the virtual closure of courts, lawyers are demanding compensation from Maharashtra government including zero-interest loans, life insurance coverage
Ashok Kumar | MUMBAI
With the Covid-19 crisis continuing to rage across Maharashtra, people in most professions, trades and services are facing a huge financial crisis. Lawyers are among the worst-hit, and a group of them in Aurangabad in Maharashtra have launched an agitation.
The lawyers are demanding that courts in Aurangabad should take up physical hearings so that they can cater to their clients needs and earn their livelihood. The courts should maintain social distancing norms, but resume physical hearings, they argue. Aurangabad, which along with seven other districts forms Marathwada, one of the most backward regions of the state, has witnessed a sharp spurt in Covid-19 cases. Aurangabad district has seen almost 25,000 Covid cases so far, with almost 750 deaths. More than 5,000 cases are still active.
The All India Lawyers Union (AILU) is demanding zero-interest loans of Rs2 lakh for its members to help them tide over the crisis. The union wants the government to help bail them out during the ongoing crisis, which has also seen many lawyers quit the profession and take to farming.
Irbaaz Ansari of I Love Aurangabad Foundation, along with representatives of the District Advocates’ Bar Association has also written to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray seeking life insurance coverage for lawyers in the region following the Covid-19 crisis. “The situation in Aurangabad is alarming,” Ansari told Clarion India on Tuesday. “People are getting infected with Covid and many are dying across the region.”
Lawyers also have to go to courts for select cases and have to risks while interacting with their clients and taking their case forward. According to him, the Maharashtra government should provide life insurance protection of about Rs25 lakh covering lawyers, so that their family members are compensated in case some of them succumb to the disease.