JAMMU, Apr 6: Chief Justice Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Justice Gita Mittal today held an interaction with senior lawyers of High Court of Jammu and Kashmir via video conferencing.
Prominent among the lawyers who interacted from Srinagar were Zaffar Shah, Zaffar Qureshi, Ashraf and Manzoor Dar. Leela Karan Sharma, Sunil Sethi Ved Raj Wazir and UK Jallali interacted from Jammu.
Besides these senior lawyers, President High Court Bar Association Jammu, Abhinav Sharma and Executive member of High Court Bar Association Kashmir, Ashraf Bhat were also present.
Chief Justice exhorted upon lawyers to keep ascertaining about the well being of the lawyer fraternity and to look into collective needs of the people of UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as well as to discuss way forward during and after the lifting of the lockdown.
During the interaction, lawyers highlighted the fact that High Court of Jammu and Kashmir is the only court in country which took the initiative of giving advance dates to the cases so as to streamline further listing of the cases as well as keeping lawyers and litigants informed about the progress of their respective cases.
Chief Justice exhorted upon senior lawyers to apply their mind to the present crisis and to suggest ways and means to move ahead in this time of crisis. She also impressed upon the lawyers to reach out to other members of the Bar especially those in need of immediate financial help.
Chief Justice also impressed upon the Bar members to give suggestions to the Amicus Curaie appointed by the High Court in a PIL relating to Corona Virus for its containment.
During the interaction Kashmir based lawyers suggested that some immediate measures are required to be taken to help those persons who though not directly affected by the COVID-19 but have no regular source of income and are living hand to mouth and have been left at mercy of God without any food. They also requested that Habeas Corpus petitions of Senior Citizens must be taken up on priority basis.
Jammu based lawyers suggested that Nodal Officers must be appointed by the Government to liaise with the administration as well as patients who are ailing due to health conditions unrelated to COVID-19 and who need immediate medical treatment out of the state but are not able to move out of state due to restrictions imposed during lockdown. They also highlighted the issue of lawyers who don’t have regular earning and are hailing from far flung areas and are residing in rented accommodation in Jammu.
Chief Justice impressed upon all the lawyers to raise a fund out of lawyers’ contribution for providing financial assistance to the needy advocates. She urged upon the lawyers to evolve a mechanism to collect data and identify the deserving lawyers. Kashmir based lawyers welcomed the suggestion of the Chief Justice and assured that Kashmir based lawyers shall raise a fund for providing financial assistance to the needy lawyers whereas Jammu based lawyers said some of them on their own are helping their needy colleagues.