Legal services are not essential during Covid-19 : Bombay High Court.

The High Court of Bombay Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction dismissed the plea for considering legal service as an essential service under the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act,2017. The order was passed on 10th July 2020 by the bench comprising Justice S.S. Shinde and Justice Madhav Jamdar.

The petitioner Imran Mohd. Salar Shaikh pleaded that the court should exempt lawyers and their staff from Covid-19 Lockdown restrictions for court work. As the lawyer and staff are required to travel but cannot opt for Mumbai local train as no pass from them.

The Writ Petition has been filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India read with section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code to seek the said relief.

The bench considered the advance argument given by the learned counsel appearing for the petitioner. Section 2 and 3 of Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act,2017 empowers the State Legislature to decide which service are essential keeping the interest of the community.

However, the HC dismissed the plea but the respondents are ready to consider the grievances raised in the petition by the petitioner. This proves the legal maxim “Salus Populi est supreme lex” which means the welfare of people is the supreme law.