Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday asked the Maharashtra government on why people who had received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine could not be permitted to commute by local trains in Mumbai.
"What is the benefit of being vaccinated? After taking the vaccine people are not supposed to stay at home, they are supposed to work and earn their livelihood" the court asked.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni asked the government to relax travel restrictions for fully vaccinated people.
"Let us have a beginning. not just for lawyers, but people from other walks of life too. Spread the net wide. We are concerned for lawyers and are concerned for others as well," the Court said.
The court was hearing PILs filed by the BCMG and other lawyers, through senior counsel Milind Sathe seeking directions to the state government to consider practicing advocates as essential service providers and permit them to travel by local trains to attend hearings and for other professional purposes.
The court have also asked the government to work on a comprehensive plan for the same so that the burden on other modes of transport can also be reduced.
However, Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni representing the state government informed the Court that the Railway Authorities were requesting a letter from the state disaster management authority (SDMA) for any relaxation and added that the Authority headed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was 'slightly reluctant' to issue such a letter for lawyers, as only front-line health workers and certain government employees are allowed to take local trains at the present stage.
"We will try our best to avail the letter from the concerned authority, " Kumbhakoni informed the court.
The bench also referred to a PIL filed by a city resident, Mohan Bhide, seeking relaxation in travel restrictions for fully vaccinated people in suburban local trains.
The Court has asked the state government's response regarding access to local trains to lawyers and other vaccinated persons by August 5.