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HC directs UP govt to allow advocate to travel to Delhi with e-passes during lockdown

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Delhi High Court Wednesday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to allow advocates to travel to the national capital by issuing them e-passes for inter-state transit during the COVID-19 lockdown.

A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad, which conducted the hearing through video conferencing, asked the Uttar Pradesh government to implement the same mechanism that has been done by the Haryana government by 10 AM on Thursday.

The high court said the online passes be issued within 30 minutes of the application for a period of one week. It also directed that at the border, the e-pass can be shown on the mobile, along with the lawyer's identity card, and a printed copy of the pass is not necessary.

The Haryana government on May 18 had informed the high court that it has decided to allow advocates to travel to the national capital and has started issuing them e-passes for inter-state transit during the lockdown.

The high court passed the order while hearing two petitions by Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) and Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA) seeking to allow lawyers, who reside in NCR areas, to travel to the national capital to visit their offices and attend the courts here.

During the hearing, the UP government's counsel said to obtain an e-pass, an advocate is required to go to the district magistrate's office and he will be issued a day's pass.

BCD's plea, through its chairman and advocate K C Mittal, has referred to a May 1 order of the Central government permitting the use of private offices during the lockdown and contended that advocates, who are residing in neighbouring areas of Delhi, like Noida and Gurugram, are also entitled to travel to the national capital and use their offices.

The Delhi government has supported the petitions.

DHCBA and its office bearers, in their plea through advocate Shreya Singhal, have claimed there are many lawyers who reside outside Delhi, but have chambers or offices in the national capital and are required to access them in connection with their right to practice law.

The lawyers also need access to their chambers, to get their files and other infrastructure, the plea has said.

It has sought directions for "unhindered movement" of such advocates so that they can access their offices located in Delhi and return back to their residences outside the national capital.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 20 2020. 18:10 IST