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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Bank staff can’t take local trains, metro; curbs to continue: Maharashtra to HC

The state added that only frontline health workers and state government staff are allowed to use suburban local trains to avoid crowding as per 'break the chain' restrictions.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
May 11, 2021 11:08:09 pm
MaharashtraA division bench of Justice K K Tated and Justice Abhay Ahuja was hearing a plea filed by Cooperative Banks Employees Union (CBEU) seeking permission for cooperative bank employees to travel to work by public transport including local trains, metro and monorail. (File Photo)

The Maharashtra government on Tuesday told the Bombay High Court that bank employees are not allowed to use local trains at the current stage of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The state government’s lawyer said that existing restrictions on travel in local trains, metro trains and monorails in Mumbai cannot be relaxed in view of a surge in Covid cases and the same will continue until further orders.

The state added that only frontline health workers and state government staff are allowed to use suburban local trains to avoid crowding as per ‘break the chain’ restrictions.

A division bench of Justice K K Tated and Justice Abhay Ahuja was hearing a plea filed by Cooperative Banks Employees Union (CBEU) seeking permission for cooperative bank employees to travel to work by public transport including local trains, metro and monorail.

Government Pleader Priyabhushan P Kakade, however, clarified that even the staff of nationalised banks were not allowed to use local trains and that current restrictions on travelling in local trains will continue until further orders.

The bench also noted that the petitioner organisation could not produce any documentary evidence to substantiate the claim that staff of nationalised banks are permitted to board local trains.

Refusing the plea, the HC said that CBEU, if it can come up with documentary evidence to establish permission to nationalised bank staff to travel on trains, can approach the court again.

A division bench led by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta is likely to hear on Wednesday the PILs filed by lawyers’ associations seeking directions to the state to consider practising advocates as essential service providers and permit them to travel by local trains for professional purpose.

Meanwhile, the administrative judges of the Bombay HC led by CJ Datta, along with associations of lawyers, representatives of state and central government and BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss a special Covid-19 vaccination drive for lawyers practising before HC.

Over 1,100 people including staff members of the HC and their family members were vaccinated last week. As per sources, Chahal said that nearly 1000 vaccines can be made available for lawyers, but demands of all lawyers cannot be catered to due to limited stock. The lawyers’ associations have initiated a drive to ascertain how many lawyers from Mumbai will be required to be administered vaccines.

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