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Why not allow vaccinated persons to use trains, asks Bombay High Court

A view of the Bombay High Court. File photo  

The Bombay High Court on Monday asked the Maharashtra government on why people who had received both COVID-19 vaccines could not be allowed to travel by local trains in Mumbai.

The court was hearing a bunch of public interest litigation petitions filed by advocate Chirag Chanani and others through advocate Shyam Devani.

Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni told a division Bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G.S. Kulkarni, “the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) was reluctant to permit all lawyers, judicial clerks and court staff to resume local train travel. Currently, only front-line health workers and government staff are permitted to use local trains.”

Courts open

Senior advocate Milind Sathe, appearing for one of the petitioners said since the High Court and other courts are now conducting physical hearings all lawyers need to commute by local trains.

Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, representing the Railways, said that all three railway lines authorities at Western, Central and Harbour Railway had agreed to issue monthly, quarterly or six-monthly travel passes to lawyers and court staff.

Mr. Kumbhakoni said, “The SDMA, however, is a bit reluctant. This time (during the second wave of COVID-19) only frontline health workers and government staff are permitted to use the train.”

The bench said, “The difference between the first situation and now is that the situation has improved because of the vaccine. All lawyers are above 18 years of age and permitted to receive the vaccine now. So, a decision needs to be taken. Otherwise, what is the benefit of the vaccine? One is not supposed to sit at home even after taking the vaccine. Lawyers need to come to court at some point.”

The bench went on to say, “The Railways is also cooperating, so please use your good office. We must make a beginning. Spread the net wide. Not only for lawyers, but also people coming from other walks of life. A comprehensive plan is needed, otherwise it is affecting everyone.” The matter will be heard again on August 5.

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 9:03:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/why-not-allow-vaccinated-persons-to-use-trains-asks-bombay-high-court/article35684307.ece

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