BENGALURU: Expressing that the judiciary is facing an unprecedented challenge from the second wave of Covid-19, Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court Abhay Shreeniwas Oka said that unfortunately, 16 staffers of the judiciary and 190 advocates have succumbed to the infection in 48 days across the state.
Speaking on the topic ‘Challenges before the Legal Fraternity in Covid Times’ at the Third Webinar Series organised by the Advocates’ Association of Bangalore (AAB) on Sunday, the Chief Justice said, “I feel there is a war-like situation on at the moment. Members of the judiciary must act like soldiers and adopt their strategies to combat Covid-19. I have told this to judicial officers and staff. Members of the Bar should also fight like they would on the battlefield. We have succeeded in the first wave, and we will be successful in the second wave too.”
Mentioning that the impact of the first wave was less compared to the second wave, he informed that from April 1 to May 18, 2021, 616 staffers of the judiciary tested positive, of whom 16 succumbed to Covid- 19.
“It is disheartening to know that 190 advocates across the state have lost their lives to the pandemic. As many as 90 judicial officers tested positive during this period, but fortunately, all of them have recovered,” he said.
Comparing the data of the number of Covid-infected persons and active cases reported in the state, especially in Bengaluru, during the second wave, with that of the first wave, Chief Justice Oka reiterated that the second wave hit the judiciary hard, and stressed that it also affected litigants.
Accordingly, he stated that he has directed principal judges in districts and seniormost judges in taluks to hold regular meetings with Nodal Officers appointed by the government, following the initiative taken by the judiciary, to ensure availability of beds, oxygen and medicines to judicial officers, staff and advocates.
“We are here 24/7 for members of the Bar,” he added. Meanwhile, lauding the initiatives taken by Chief Justice Oka to ensure smooth and safe functioning of courts during the pandemic, former Advocate General and Senior Advocate Uday Holla called upon advocates who are in a better position, to take care of their younger colleagues of the Bar who are in financial distress.