Updated: June 24, 2021 9:47:13 am
THE District Court in Shivajinagar in the jurisdiction of the Pune Municipal Corporation will funciton in only one shift from Wednesday. The Pune Bar Association has urged the court to reverse its decision “as it would badly affect the earnings of the lawyer community”.
Following the directives of the Bombay High Court, the District Court issued orders on Tuesday to the effect that the court will start functioning from 11 am to 2 pm.
The court’s order said, “All the courts located within the limits of the Pune Municipal Corporation and the Khadki Cantoment Board shall function as per the Bombay High Court circular dated 16/4/21…with modification in working hours — judicial working hours will be from 11 am to 2 pm. The office working hour will be half an hour before and after the judicial working hour with 100 per cent attendance of judicial offices and 50 per cent of staff members.”
The order added, “All the stakeholders shall scrupulously follow and abide by the rules and regulations and guideliness issued from time to time by the Bombay High Court, the government of Maharashtra and the local authorities in respect to Covid appropriate behavour.”
Advocate Sushil Mancharkar, former president of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Bar Association, said, “The courts opened after the summer holidays in the first week of June. They worked only in one shift in PMC limits. Then from June 15, they started working in two shifts. And now a week later, they will be back to only one shift.”
Mancharkar said the District Court’s latest order is applicable only in PMC limits. “In Pune rural areas and Pimpri-Chinchwad, the courts are already functioning in one shift,” he added.
Advocate Satish Mulik, president of the Pune Bar Assocation (PBA), said, “Due to the pandemic, cases are pending and piling up in courts. The earnings of lawyers have been severely affected. So, running courts in one shift is not an appropriate step. We have urged the District Court to reverse its decision.”
Yogesh Tupe, vice-president, PBA, said, “We have written a letter to the principal district judge conveying our objection to the one shift plan. We have been told that the decision has been taken as PMC has fallen in Level 2 (of unlocking). Our question is, since the PMC Covid cases are going up and down every day, will the court also take a decision regarding running one or two shifts depending on the case count? We suggest that the court should be run in two shifts as it would otherwise affect both lawyers and clients.”
In the letter, PBA has said that all Covid appropriate norms are strictly followed by lawyers and clients on the court premises every day.
Mancharkar said, “One shift functioning means only bail order related work will continue in the court. Pending cases will have to remain pending, arguments will not be heard, private complaints cannot be filed…The most affected will be women in divorce matters. Every month, in such cases, the husband is supposed file maintenance amount in the court after which the women litigants collects it…This process will be affected and in turn, women litigants will suffer. The maintenance amount does not relate to lavish living but involves survival of litigants.”
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