Bombay High Court: A Division Bench of S.S. Shinde and Madhav Jamdar, JJ., held that State Legislature cannot be directed to include “Advocates” under the category of “Essential Services”. It is within the exclusive domain of State Legislature to legislate as to whose services to be included into the essential services.
Present petition was filed to seek the following directions:
- Order to direct respondent 2 to exempt the lawyers, their staff from restrictions for the purpose of their Court work.
- To revoke challan issued against the petitioner for alleged violation of lockdown rules.
- Direct respondent 2 to place the advocate, legal service providers into the category of ‘Essential Services’.
Primary grievance was that the advocates services have not been included in the category of “essential services”, in spite of many lawyers all over the country attending the Courts for delivering their legal services on humanitarian ground in the prevailing pandemic situation.
Hence, they sought advocates to be categorised under the category of essential services under the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act, 2017.
Bench stated that it is within the exclusive domain of the of the State Legislature to legislate as to whose services to be included into the essential services, keeping in view paramount interest of the community.
In Court’s opinion, no mandatory directions, much less directions can be issued to the State Legislature to include the legal services, rendered by the advocates into “essential services”.
It is for the State Legislature to take an appropriate decision. [Imran Mohd. Salar Shaikh v. State of Maharashtra, 2020 SCC OnLine Bom 787 , decided on 10-07-2020]