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Mumbai Local: Bombay HC directs center and the state government to respond to PIL filed for lawyers

Bombay HC directed the Centre and the State government to respond to the PIL that sought directions to permit lawyers to travel by suburban local trains.

Mumbai Local: Bombay HC directs center and the state government to respond to PIL filed for lawyers
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The Bombay High Court on July 7 directed the centre and the state government to respond to the public interest litigation (PIL) that sought directions to permit lawyers to travel by suburban local trains ferrying essential service workers during the outbreak of the coronavirus.

These demands have been made by three advocates Chirag Chanani, Vinay Kumar and Sumit Khanna through a public interest petition. Division Bench of Justices AA Sayed and MS Karnik heard the PIL through a video conference that claimed that many advocates practising law do not own private vehicles, therefore, it becomes difficult for them to commute. Hence, they should be included in the list of personnel entitled to travel in the locals. At the moment, only government employees and essential services providers have been allowed to use the locals after its operational services were resumed following the suspension of the local for nearly two months during the extended lockdown period.

The state government had earlier opposed the petition, stating that the lawyers should take care of themselves. However, the court took note of the petition and directed the state and central governments to further clarify their position on it

Earlier, Lok Sabha MP and a member of the Shiv Sena, Gajanan Kirtikar had written to the Chief Secretary of the Maharashtra government to put forward an appeal for bank employees. The appeal stated that the government should include bank employees in the list of essential services in order for them to commute by the local train.

The local trains in Mumbai have resumed services after nearly two months for the first time since the lockdown was imposed in March to control the spread of the coronavirus. The railways have decided to start the local services only for essential service providers while the general public will be prohibited from using them. This rule was implemented to make sure social distancing is maintained in the local trains where on a regular day overcrowding happens to be a normal sight.


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