The Delhi High Court on Monday agreed to lawyers body DHCBA's request to reopen the advocates chambers so that they can get their files and books, but with certain conditions and safeguards, including the number of persons who can access the rooms and the timings.
The high court's committee for preparation of a graded action plan considered the Delhi High Court Bar Association's request in its meeting of May 14 and recommended that the chambers can be opened in two phases -- between 10.00 am to 12.00 pm and 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm.
A public notice issued by the Registrar General's office said: "The layover period be used by housekeeping agencies for sanitization and deep cleaning of the use portions of the building.
"The committee accedes to the proposal of Mr Mohit Mathur (DHCBA president) for providing access to lawyers to their respective chambers situated in three Lawyers' Chambers Block of this Court to primarily enable them to take away their files, books, belongings etc."
The chambers were closed in March after the high court restricted its functioning to important matters and started hearing cases via video conferencing.
When the chambers are open, only one lawyer per room with one assistant or a junior would be allowed access and no interns or clients would be allowed there, the committee has said.
The other conditions and safeguards recommended by the committee include proper documentation, monitoring and regulation, by DHCBA, of all visitors/users to the chambers, use of only gate no. 7 of the high court for entry of vehicles, drivers to remain in parking areas and sanitizers and handheld body temperature scanners at entrance of each of the three lawyers chamber blocks.
The other safeguards and conditions recommended by the the committee said: "Proper face masks shall be mandatory for all such visiting advocate etc. No kiosk facility for tea, coffee etc. or ancillary services in any chamber block shall be opened till further orders. No common use areas like Bar, Consultation Room etc. be opened for use. Only the toilets for the floor(s) to be used shall be opened. Lift facility shall be provided only to the floor(s) in use and shall be used only by two persons at a time."
It also said that people allowed access shall avoid visiting other chambers.
"The DHCBA shall issue necessary advisory about the manner of use of chambers while also requesting elderly members of the Bar to avoid coming to Court till further orders," it also said.
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