Several PILs and intervention applications have been filed by lawyers requesting that they be allowed to use the local train services to travel to courts or their offices amid the Covid19 pandemic.
The Maharashtra government has told the Bombay HC to not permit the lawyers to use local trains due to safety measures. The state in an affidavit submitted that restrictions on local trains had been imposed to “prevent overcrowding and maintain social distancing “and lawyers could not claim any legal rights to use them. The same affidavit also mentioned the use of a personal vehicle with a limited number of passengers along with masks and other safety measures for the same.
The counsel for the main Petitioner contended that several lawyers stay in suburbs in Mumbai and traveling to a court or the office from there is highly inconvenient due to lockdown. The Petitioner lawyer also contended that the services of a lawyer should be considered as essential and they should be allowed to travel by local trains as the staff of government pleader’s offices were included in the list of the essential services and are allowed to travel by local trains and also by BEST services.
The court has now directed the Petitioner to respond to the affidavit given by the State government.