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Maharashtra Govt to Review Restrictions Imposed on Elderly Film and TV Artists

New guidelines are expected to be reviewed on August 1, just a day after the lockdown ends. However, the state government’s lawyer could not provide specifics on the nature of the changes that will be made to the existing guidelines.

Maharashtra Govt to Review Restrictions Imposed on Elderly Film and TV Artists
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The Maharashtra State Government told the Bombay High Court that restrictions put on cast and crew members of film/television above the age of 65 will be reviewed when the existing statewide lockdown comes to an end on July 31. 

Speaking on behalf of the state, Advocate Purnima Kantharia told the bench consisting of Justices SJ Kathawalla and Riyaz Chagla that the existing guidelines for artists and crew over the age of 65 were put in place to protect them from COVID-19, which is known to have a more dangerous impact on the elderly. 

Kantharia added that new guidelines are expected to be reviewed on August 1, just a day after the lockdown ends. However, the state government’s lawyer could not provide specifics on the nature of the changes that will be made to the existing guidelines. 

The response by the state came after a petition was filed with the Bombay High Court by Pramod Pandey, a 70-year old artist who makes a living by appearing on small roles for film and television. He raised the petition when the State Government issued fresh guidelines for film and TV shooting on May 30. In his petition, Pandey mentioned that the decision to impose restrictions have a direct impact on his livelihood as film and television roles happen to be his primary source of income.  

Read - Bombay HC Blasts State Government For Prohibiting Those Aged Above 65 On Film Sets

Indian Motion Pictures Producers' Association (IMPPA) had also filed a petition challenging the Maharashtra Government’s restrictions on senior artists. The court is expected to pass the order on both petitions by the 31st of July. 

Amicus curiae (friend of the court), Advocate Sharon Jagtiani deemed the restrictions as discriminatory against elderly artists, adding that the guidelines only restricted film and TV artists over the age of 65 and not other professions elsewhere. 

An amicus curiae is an impartial advocate who is deemed by the court as a representative of the people’s opinions. It is common practice in the Indian judicial system to have an amicus curiae provide his/her impartial opinions to the court.

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