Mumbai: A public interest litigation has been filed in the Bombay High Court seeking directions to the Maharashtra Government to declare holidays for schools and colleges statewide to prevent further spread of coronavirus.

The PIL accuses the state and the Centre of not being ‘serious’ about the corona threat, also seeks directions to private companies to allow its employees to avail the ‘work from home’ facilities.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Bhushan Dharmadhikari and NR Borkar has scheduled the PIL filed through advocate Milind Deshmukh hearing on Monday.

The PIL seeks a direction to the government to amend the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 and to set up an Epidemic Disease Control Board (EDCB) to take immediate steps for prevention and spreading of epidemic diseases like coronavirus.

“If no proper precaution is taken scrupulously in India, this virus will affect a large number of population and considering the high density of population as well as limited resources for tackling the pandemic it is likely to spread across the nation with a very high rate,” highlights the petitioner Sagar Jondhale, in his plea.

The plea states since coronavirus infection is contagious in nature and is spreading more rapidly with the contact of person to person, “children, pregnant women and senior citizens are much likely to be affected by the infection,” the plea claims.

Accordingly, the petition urges the HC to order lower courts and tribunals to adjourn matters which aren’t urgent.

Don’t come to courts

The HC administration has ordered all the litigants and advocates across Maharashtra to avoid visiting the court complexes unless necessary. “They shall also adhere to the guidelines issued by the Health Ministry.

This notice is being issued as a precautionary measure in view of coronavirus,” the notification reads.

The administration has also exempted its staff not only in Mumbai but also at Aurangabad, Nagpur and Goa from marking their attendance on biometric machine till further order.

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