The Bombay High Court (HC) recently directed the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) to consider the request of a locomotor-disabled person to extend his licence for an STD-PCO booth at the Panvel bus depot.
The petition was filed by Ulhas Sawant, a physically challenged person with 60 per cent locomotor disability. According to Sawant, when he was allotted the STD-PCO booth, no period for the licence was recorded by the MSRTC in the permission granted on January 9, 2001.
According to the petitioner, the MSRTC issued a circular on August 3, 2008, restricting the licence period for STD-PCO booths to 11 months. As the licence granted to Sawant was to expire on October 21, 2009, he wanted his permission extended. No extension was granted. Sawant then appealed before the Resident Deputy Collector, which directed the MSRTC to extend the licence. The petitioner told the HC that the MSRTC was not complying with that order.
A bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice N M Jamdar, said, “With the introduction of mobile phones and penetration of mobile connectivity, use of landlines has reduced to virtually nil…”
The bench further added, “For a physically challenged person, means of livelihood require the use of the licensed premises to be changed and we see no reason why from the STD booths general consumable articles such as bottled water, sweets, toffees, biscuits etc be not permitted to be vended…” The bench disposed of the petition, directing the MSRTC to comply with the direction issued by the Resident Deputy Collector.