Employment and Advertising Restrictions on Advocates in light of COVID-19: An Analysis
Hidayatullah National Law University, India
Volume III, Issue IV, 2020
The Bar Council of India Rules places dual restrictions on practicing advocates by way of restriction on employment and restriction on advertisement and solicitation by practicing advocates. These restrictions hinder the growth of lawyers and limit their earning capacity. The World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 virus as a global pandemic in the month of March, 2020. Due to this, Central Government imposed a nation-wide lockdown from 24th March 2020 onwards to curb the spread of COVID-19 virus in India. Since then, the courts and tribunals throughout the country have remained closed or are functioning at their minimum strength. Due to this, the advocates throughout the country, especially the first-generation lawyers, are finding it extremely difficult to earn their livelihood. Few advocates have even committed suicide as they could not earn enough to feed themselves and their families. The legal fraternity has also raised its voice against these restrictions and has come forward to help the advocates in need. This paper analyses the impact of these restrictions in light of COVID-19 as being violative of Advocates’ Right to Life under Article 21 as well as Right to Profession under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India while also highlighting the need to relax these restrictions as a progressive society.