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Advocates given a go-ahead to travel in Mumbai Local Trains on 'experimental basis'

Bombay High court has clarified that this facility will be available from September 18 to October 7, 2020, on an experimental basis. Only lawyers will be allowed to travel on these passes which are non-transferable.

Advocates given a go-ahead to travel in Mumbai Local Trains on 'experimental basis'
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In a recently released announcement, the Bombay High Court has asked the advocates to travel by Mumbai Local Train, and this decision ease the commute for lawyers depending on the local train for their transport. However, the permission has been granted initially for two weeks, on an experimental basis. With this, lawyers will be allowed to appear in court for a hearing, in a timely manner. But the railways is yet to decide on the same, and permission is yet to be received from the concerned officials.

Maharashtra is currently under a lockdown until September 30, 2020, however, the state government and the local municipal corporations, under the unlock 4.0 guidelines, allowed some services in the city to resume. Keeping this in mind, the lawyers' association had recently filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the court seeking permission to travel by the Mumbai local trains, which will help them participate in the proceedings of the court. The state government was also asked about this matter.

The case was heard before a bench of Mumbai High Court Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni, where state advocate general Ashutosh Kumbakoni, during the hearing, said that the government had no objection to allowing lawyers to travel by local train. Further, it was clarified that the railway departments are ready for the same, and understanding this, the bench then directed the advocates to allow travelling in the local trains, on an experimental basis. However, advocates will have to seek a pass to travel and will have to follow a procedure for the same.

In order to do so, one will have to apply to the Registrar of the High Court, by mail, to get the pass on the day the case is to be heard in the court. Upon receiving the application, the Registrar will issue local travel permit to the concerned lawyer. Railways will then check the same and issue tickets or passes to the lawyers.

The court has clarified that this facility will be available only from September 18 to October 7, 2020. Only lawyers will be allowed to travel on these passes, and they are non-transferable. Failing to follow the rules, and in case of misuse of the pass or ticket, strict action would be taken by the Maharashtra Bar Council against the lawyers.

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