May 26, 2021 12:26:37 am
THE BOMBAY High Court on Tuesday asked the state to immediately take action against the e-commerce companies that are violating the ‘Break the Chain’ orders.
The HC also sought to know reliefs proposed for retail traders regarding waiver of licence fees and other waivers in view of pandemic-like incentives given to other classes, including licensed hawkers.
A vacation bench of Justice R D Dhanuka and Justice Madhav J Jamdar was hearing a writ plea by the Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association, filed through advocate Dipesh Siroya, seeking waiver of the property tax, renewal fees and licence fees that are payable by retailers for the lockdown period, starting from March last year.
The petitioner organisation said during the pandemic and lockdowns, retailers of non-essential items experienced heavy losses, financial instability and mass unemployment.
Advocate Jamshed Mistry for the Federation said the petitioners’ grievance is that while incentives were given to hawkers and others during the pandemic, no package was announced for the retail traders. He said separate representation had also been made to the BMC.
The Federation also said various guidelines or standard operating procedures, including the ‘Break the Chain’ order on April 13, were issued only for supply and provision of essential goods and services, but the e-commerce suppliers are violating the directives by selling non-essential goods and services.
The HC said the state, if finds any violation, can immediately take action against the errant e-commerce companies for flouting the guidelines.
The court also asked the state and the BMC to file an affidavit in reply to the petition in two weeks.
The HC posted the further hearing on the plea to June 21.
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