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Lockdown: Bombay HC directs Centre and state to allow man to travel by road to attend father’s final rites

Justice Anil K Menon on April 7 passed an order through videoconferencing. The Court directed the man to seek necessary permissions from the authorities and directed the man’s letter to be converted in a writ petition.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai | Updated: April 8, 2020 3:26:28 pm
Birds fly over an empty Marine Drive during a lockdown in Mumbai, India, on March 25.

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the Central and state government to grant permission to a Pune man to travel to Lanka, a town in Assam by road to attend the final rites of his father who passed away there on April 5.

Binny Dholani had written a letter to the Chief Justice Bhushan P Dharmadhikari, state home department, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) seeking permission to fly from Pune to Gauwahati by any cargo flight or other available flight to attend and perform last rites being the only son of the deceased.

The petitioner’s father passed away on April 5 at Lanka in Assam after suffering heart-attack. On the same day, he wrote to the court in view of inter-state movements being restricted by virtue of nationwide lockdown and sought to make necessary arrangements to enable him to reach Assam from Pune by flight.

The Court directed the man to seek necessary permissions from the authorities and directed the man’s letter to be converted in a writ petition. It also said that the petitioner is directed to convey the route that he intends to take to reach Lanka, Assam so that authorities would be aware of the points of entry and exist to states through which he would pass.

Justice Anil K Menon on April 7 passed an order through videoconferencing after  after Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Anil Singh, representing the Centre submitted that the man could not travel by flight due to restrictions imposed in view of COVID-19 outbreak, but he could undertake the journey by road and requisite permission would be given to him.

“No exception can be made in present case and stated that if the petitioner is desirous of travelling by road, the authorities can permit him and instructions will be given to Pune District Collector after which necessary steps can be taken to facilitate petitioner’s travel by road, said Singh.

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