Mumbai (ILNS): The Maharashtra government has informed the Bombay High Court that it was in favour of allowing all lawyers to use the local train services for their commute to courts, offices, and back home. The court, in turn, asked the government to take a decision by October 29 on permitting employees of other sectors too to avail of such facilities.
The division bench of the Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G.S. Kulkarni was hearing the bunch of public interest litigations stating that services rendered by advocates were essential services, therefore lawyers should be included in the list of essential staff permitted to travel on special or local trains.
Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni submitted that state has decided to permit women to commute by train during non-peak hours. The state is in the process of exploring a workable solution for employees of all sectors, he further added.
He also stated that the government is inclined to allow lawyers to use local trains for professional services, while there has been a meeting regarding colour coding and staggering of office hours.
The Court, after hearing the submission, pointed out that numerous sectors have now been opened by the state authorities after months of lockdown. “Why don’t you consider allowing employees of other sectors too? There are gyms being opened up, salons, etc are permitted to operate. Then why not allow them too?”
The bench said the state must also think of allowing people from all sectors and walks of life to use the trains while ensuring all COVID-19 safeguards were followed.
The Court gave the state time till October 29 to take an appropriate decision with regard to permitting the employees/staff of other sectors to avail the increased number of local train services being operated by Central Railway and Western Railway.
Local trains are currently being operated only for essential services staff and government employees in view of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Read the order here;Priyatosh-R-Tiwari-Vs-the-State-of-Maharashtra