The Bombay High Court (HC) has asked the BMC to file a reply to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by an individual, Firoz Mithiborwala, challenging the Maharashtra government's decision to permit only fully-vaccinated people to use the public transport.
Mithiborwala has challenged the government’s circular dated March 1, 2022, listing the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and safety measures to be followed by citizens in view of Covid-19. The said promulgation extended the restriction of not allowing unvaccinated people on public transport, including local trains.
Terming the restrictions as arbitrary and unconstitutional, Mithiborwala alleged that it was an “indirect attempt” by the Maharashtra government to make vaccination compulsory. Going a step further, Mithiborwala’s advocate, Nilesh Ojha, also pointed out that if the SOP was held to be illegal then the fine collected by the BMC for not wearing masks would be illegal, too. A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice M S Karnik clarified that it would not go into the issue of returning the fines collected by the BMC.
“Even rich people were fined. Citizens can come personally and challenge the action initiated against them by clean up marshals,” remarked Chief Justice Datta. The HC has scheduled the matter’s next hearing in July