Mumbai: Cannot allow local train travel for lawyers at present as experts fear third wave of COVID-19: HC

The Bombay High Court on Saturday said it cannot permit lawyers to travel by suburban trains at least till the end of July as the Maharashtra State COVID-19 Task Force apprehends a third wave of the pandemic.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni said that the court cannot override medical experts' opinion by a judicial order.

"At least till the end of July, it may not be possible (to allow lawyers to commute by trains). The State COVID Task Force feels that the third wave may start if trains are opened to all. You (lawyers) will have to wait for one more month," the court said.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa against the exclusion of lawyers from travel in local suburban trains in Mumbai.

Presently, only state government and public administration officials are allowed to commute in public transport.

The bench noted that in its administrative meeting with the task force officials, the judges were informed that the present COVID-19 situation is likely to improve only by the month of August.

The court posted the matter for further hearing on August 3.

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